Q&A – workplace relations and employment law

Iain Lees-Galloway looks one of the Labour MPs who has managed the transition from Opposition to ministerial responsibilities in government very well. He is interviewed on Q&A this morning.

Lees-Galloway is ranked 13th in Cabinet.

A recent media release:

The Government’s draft strategy for improving the health and safety of New Zealand workers over the next 10 years has been released, with submissions now being called for, says Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway.

His responsibilities:

  • Workplace Relations and Safety
  • ACC
  • Immigration
  • Deputy Leader of the House

He has managed to keep a low profile on Immigration given Labour’s promises to significantly reduce immigration, but net migration numbers have barely moved. There is no indication this will be covered in the interview. However there’s a close relationship between employment and immigration, and there have been a number of recent reports of labour shortages in various parts of the country.

Unions currently represent about 17% of the workforce. The Government has no intention of making joining a union compulsory – Lees-Galloway says that the need for freedom of association is a key reason for this.

It’s a good interview, Lees-Galloway sounds like he knows his stuff, tries to explain rather than avoid answering, and comes across well.

He is asked about immigration numbers, and he diverts here to say he isn’t focussed on numbers but in making sure they get labour into ‘the right places’.

Pushed on getting immigration numbers down he waffles around it and eventually falls back on “getting immigration better”.

Leave a comment

27 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  May 13, 2018

    Must watch that vid. On 1ewes they focused on Iain saying if employers can’t pay decent wages under their current business model, maybe they shouldn’t be in that business & should think about doing something else. Too many NZ employees haven’t had their businesses’ gains shared far enuf with them.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 13, 2018

      Too many NZ employees haven’t had their businesses’ gains shared far enuf with them.
      How on earth would you know that?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  May 13, 2018

        Keep your blazer on, old chap. I’m just paraphrasing Hon Iain Lees-Galloway.

        Have you experienced any tingling sensations this afternoon, Sir Alan? 😳

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 13, 2018

          Ok, how on earth would he know that?

          Nope, took the family to the movies and dinner afterwards in Keri. Drove home through a waterfall. Not a tingle in sight.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 13, 2018

            Devil of a job sourcing dilithium crystals. Having to make do with 8 rechargeable double AA batteries. Might have to look at alternative power source.

            Reply
            • phantom snowflake

               /  May 13, 2018

              Warp Drive offline, huh?

            • Gezza

               /  May 13, 2018

              You know how it is when the commander won’t listen to the engineer. The engines could nay take it any morre.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  May 13, 2018

              “Beam me up Scotty; I’m on the wrong fucken planet!”

    • PDB

       /  May 13, 2018

      “Too many NZ employees haven’t had their businesses’ gains shared far enuf with them.”

      Having worked in and around many businesses I think that is a myth today in the majority of cases. The cost of labour for an employer (when taking into account regulations, health & safety, leave etc) is around 40% on top of the employees wages.

      I actually think there are far too few good employees nowadays and the situation is worsening by the year as good working habits slowly disappear. Good employees are therefore like gold and businesses in the main strive to keep them.

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  May 13, 2018

        Time and time again I find that talking to my customers, the lack of good keen staff is the biggest bugbear.

        Many are not working to their full potential (mainly export but local as well) due to lack of quality staff. Even $40 per hour does not retain skilled and conscientious staff.

        Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  May 13, 2018

      That is the beauty of capitalist free enterprise. A business owner is free to decide that if his costs (including wages – fuel – taxes) are going up he can increase his prices to maintain profitability.

      If the market wont bear the price increases he can and will shut down (as Labour is suggesting) and place his employees on the dole.

      I was hoping Labour would talk about productivity increase incentives but instead the old dogma of “employers can afford it no matter what” is still top of their 1960’s mindset.

      Am surprised old time unionist like Lees-Galloway still exist.

      No wonder employer confidence is down.

      How many would start a business employing staff with 1960’s union mindset at the helm of business governance.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 13, 2018

      Well, I just watched that video. Gonna watch the Panel Discussion of it now. Dr Jennifer Curtin (from Aucks Uni), Richard Prebble (from some dingy burrow I imagine) and Sue Bradford (from some protests about something, somewhere, maybe?)

      https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/q-and-a.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  May 13, 2018

        Good panel discussion. Cut offs suddenly right at the very end.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 13, 2018

          Point made in there that I was wondering about earlier. Labour looks like it’s going to be running basically the same immigration policy as National’s.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 13, 2018

            Points also made that’ll infuriate NZF voters who were expecting immigration to be pared back, and, as voters were told by Labour there’d be a considerable reduction, and “a pause”, it’s disingenuous of them to basically run the existing policy, unchanged.

            Reply
  2. Corky

     /  May 13, 2018

    Another hole in Labours leaky boat. Bring it on. The public has moved on from acceptance of unions and strike action so prevalent in the 80s. Modern society is in a rush. They demand ”now.’ If unions hold up services to that public, Labour is gone at the next election. No ‘BUTS.’

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 13, 2018

      I think you could well be right here, especially if striking gets out of hand with what the public now considers essential services. And that includes bus, rail and Cook Strait ferry transport services. I well remember the Rail Ferries striking it seemed like every school holidays. My tuakana worked on them as a steward for a year. He told me the captain once turned the ferry around in the harbour and returned to the Wellington ferry terminal because the telly in the crew quarters wasn’t working. I found that hard to believe but he insists it happened.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  May 13, 2018

        That would be correct. Mike King related similar stories about his time as an Inter Island Ferry Cook. I was stranded at the Wellington terminal because of a dispute over docking lines.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 13, 2018

          Back then if there was a rail strike we all car-pooled and, even with extra cars on the road, it was only a 20 minute max trip from Tawa along a free-flowing motorway to work on the Terrace at 7 am. Now you’re in a slow rolling traffic jam the whole way on an ordinary day. And jammed up worse if you have to go through the Terrace Tunnel. Tempers will be strained by such strikes again.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 13, 2018

            And there won’t be anywhere near enuf parking when you get there.

            Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  May 13, 2018

      Instant gratification ‘democracy’ …

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  May 13, 2018

        As opposed to the workers paradise of a socialist republic like…Venezuela?

        Where in the world is this nirvana of the peoples democratic socialist republic that would be better than capitalism and free markets (with a light hand of the state to smoothed out the rougher edges)?

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  May 13, 2018

          It’s coming Gerrit … Eventually even you will vote for it … and welcome it …

          Where is this fictitious “light hand of the state”?

          Mexico?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 13, 2018

            Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy of over regulation and is reducing taxes. NZ is heading on the opposite direction. Expectation is NZ$ going down, US$ up.

            Reply
          • Gerrit

             /  May 14, 2018

            Been coming since Karl Marx put pen to paper, still waiting for the expected arrival.

            I don’t need to worry about voting for the revolution that never comes.

            Reply
            • Gerrit

               /  May 14, 2018

              I do admit however there is change (revolution even) a coming at a great rate. Not in the way Karl Marx envisaged (how could he have known about the power and effect of social media).

              The change is coming due to the entrenched power, enabled by the citizens, to the institutions set up to govern us.

              So in hindsight and with some research and fresh thinking, you are right a revolution is coming.

              Will it be socialism (containing unionism as per the discussion on the blog here) as Karl Marx presented? No I don’t think so. Will it be more incisive and inclusive democracy like we see in Switzerland?

              I hope so.

              5 articles from the World Economic Forum worth a read.

              The biggest threat to democracy? Your social media feed.
              Democracy has sold its soul.
              Three reasons democracy is failing in the nation state.
              An idea for the future of democracy.
              The weakening of democracy.

              https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/democracy-today-news-and-opinion/

              Thanks for making me think and a change of mind, yes I could vote for a revolutionary change.

            • Gezza

               /  May 14, 2018

              Good post. 👍🏼

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