Anyone who doubts what unions get from supporting Labour need look no further than policy to reopen Hillside Workshop:
. . . In November 2012 about 90 Hillside Engineering Workshops employees were made redundant in the South Dunedin facility’s partial closure, after KiwiRail failed to find a buyer for it.. .
Several factors including changing demand and union intransigence which prevented the business modernising to compete in the 21st century, were responsible for Hillside’s demise.
That the Chinese-made wagons KiwiRail bought in preference to locally made ones have had problems is no reason to resurrect the workshop.
The government has no business in a business like this.
It would be returning to the bad old days of subsidised industry.
KiwiRail was one of the last Labour government’s big spending mistakes.
It is continuing to cost the country far too much money which would be better spent in many other areas.
The only reason to continue throwing good money after bad is political payback for union support.
That’s what happens when unions write policy.
It might be good for them but it won’t be good for the country.
Education is another area where unions are flexing political muscles:
The country’s biggest teacher union has overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s $359 million education policy.
The announcement today by NZEI that 93 per cent of teachers and principals voted “no confidence” in the policy could potentially scupper the Government’s Investing in Educational Success plans.
The policy, announced in January, has divided teachers and principals and only minutes before NZEI’s announcement the Minister of Education revealed a memorandum of understanding has been signed with a number of principals from other organisations across the country.
NZEI president Judith Nowotarski said 73 per cent of the more than 25,000 members that voted rejected the proposed new roles outright, rather than trying to change the policy through negotiation. . .
This is another example of the pressing need for a professional body to advise and advocate on educational matters rather than an industrial one.
A professional body would have the best interests of education and pupils front and centre rather than their political views as the union does.
Some unions are affiliated to Labour and have voting powers. Some support them with money and people-power for campaigns. Some support them by fighting National government policies.
Policy they like, and possibly write, is their payback.
If it was an employers or business group doing that for National and against Labour it would be called corruption and buying power.
When unions do it, it’s just business as usual.