Jami-Lee Ross’s Bill allowing employers to take on other staff to replace striking workers has been greeted with howls of outrage.
But as Not PC asks, do you own your job?
. . . Strike action by unionised employees is certainly their right. But the unionised employees have no right to forcibly exclude non-union labour from taking the jobs from which they have voluntarily walked away.
They will disagree with me. They would place pickets and law in the way of employers hiring new folk to replace those who’ve walked out. They will argue, essentially, that they own these jobs and have a right to exclude others from taking them—to exclude them by force, if necessary.
But they don’t own those jobs, and the mistaken idea that they do is what gives unions their power to destroy. . . .
The destruction isn’t only of their employers and his/her business, the damage goes much further than that to all the other people whose lives and businesses are affected.
After the prolonged Ports of Auckland strike a friend was buying jandals and was offered two for the price of one.
The shop keeper said the footwear had been delayed by the strike. By the time he got the shipment it was too late in summer for most people so he was offering two for one to get rid of them.
The right to strike will remain if the Bill succeeds but it will rebalance the power which at the moment is tilted in the favour of unions by allowing employers to keep their businesses running while staff are striking.
It will also reduce the damage done to other businesses not involved in the dispute but which are also affected by a strike.