Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Time to boycott Pak n' Save

National's youth rates came into force today - accompanied by protests against an employer who wants to use them. The message is clear: if you use youth rates and discriminate against your staff on the basis of age, your customers will be told, and encouraged to vote with their feet. And they are; this morning Twitter is full of people declaring that they will not shop at Pak n' Save until they receive an assurance on youth rates. Hopefully that will convince Foodstuffs to back down.

Meanwhile, BusinessNZ thinks that "[p]icketing against a lawful activity is not what unions should be doing". To point out the obvious, the entire history of the union movement is one of protesting against "lawful activities". Child labour was once lawful. Twelve hour days were once lawful. Being able to be sacked on a whim was once lawful. Not being allowed meal or toilet breaks was once lawful. Being forced to work in dangerous conditions was once lawful. Lower pay for women and non-whites was once lawful. Paying workers less for the same work is now lawful, and underpaying your workers and treating them like shit is still lawful. Protesting against those lawful injustices is exactly what unions are for.