Monday 10 March 2008


Though the headlines are low key and the reporting muted, Behind the scenes the Labour Government is quietly bathing in the praise of profiteers and business leaders celebrating the new deal, But will Free Trade with China revisit the ashes of Phoenix on working people? In the late 90's I got a week's work in Onehunga stripping out a manufacturing plant, disconecting and dismantling all the machinery, while fork hoists stood by to load it all on to trucks. The company was called Phoenix Sheet Metal. And they manufactured electric hot water cylinders that are installed in houses. (you have probably got one in your house.) The workers, all members of the EPMU told me that they were all being laid off. I asked them if their company was losing money. They told me, no the company was quite profitable. But they said the company's owner had found out that he could make even bigger profits from importing Mac Intosh computers, and consequently he had decided to close his factory and sell off all machinery and reinvest the money in becoming a computer importer. As they say money always chases the highest return. From then on hot water cylinders installed in New Zealand have also been imported. Pat O Dea

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