Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Capturing the imagination

The EPMU's "Fair Share" campaign seems to be capturing the imagination of workers, if yesterday's stopwork meeting in Auckland is anything to go by. The EPMU had to hire two extra rooms to accomodate all the people who showed up. It's clear that union members at least want to catch up some of their lost ground - and they seem to be willing to strike in order to get it.


it's definitely upping expectations - and it's good that it is broader than just the EPMU - the CTU has signed on and most of the big unions seem to be pushing for 5% plus now.

Posted by Span : 4/06/2005 06:30:00 PM

Sad to see industrial action talked about in such a threatening manner by the union.

They have a fair case for 5%, and most employers will no doubt see this. I'm sure most will give the 5% unless it threatens to make their business unviable.

Industrial action language should be saved for when there is no movement from employers, otherwise it destroys goodwill, makes the unions look unnecessarily stroppy, and destroys public confidence in the unions.

For unions to be effective they need to have the confidence of the public, who after all are the people who decide whether or not to join.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/06/2005 11:15:00 PM

Graham: Actually, I think its quite interesting - the EPMU has traditionally been a union that has worked very closely with employers. To see them pushing so hard for change shows the depth of anger there is out there. People are feeling like they've lost ground, and are willing to take positive action to make it up. If employers don't like the resulting threats of strike action, they have an easy solution available: fork over 5%.

And I disagree with your later point. What unions need to be effective is to be able to show that they can deliver significant benefits to their members (enough to make it worthwhile joining). And this is exactly what the fair share campaign is designed to show...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/07/2005 12:14:00 AM

I can't agree with you that threatening behaviour is the way.

I understand your point about delivering significant benefits. This is a very short term view if in the long term the union movement suffers from a negative perception, as it did in the late 70's and early 80's.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/07/2005 12:57:00 AM