Monday, December 10, 2012

National's New Zealand

The latest from National's New Zealand: employers now think its OK to sack people for belonging to a union:

A member of Actors Equity has been sacked as a Wellington tour guide for reportedly making a derogatory comment about the filming of The Hobbit movies.

But Todd Rippon said he made no such comment and that his prominent role within the union was behind his dismissal.

He said a staff member from Absolutely Positively Wellington Tourism claimed he said something derogatory about the movie while escorting a group of international journalists for the premiere of the first Hobbit movie.

Mr Rippon said that when he confronted his employer, Rover Tours Ltd, he was told he could not work for the company while a member of Actors' Equity.

Radio NZ has audio of that conversation here, and it is made crystal clear that belonging to Actor's Equity is the real problem, and that the employer believes that he can just sack people for union membership.

Section 110 of the Employment Relations Act bars employers exercising duress against employees over union activity, including forcing them to resign. But apparently employers think that no longer applies under a National government. Hopefully this shitty little tourism company will receive an expensive reminder that the law still applies, and that they are not feudal overlords yet.