The National Distribution Union's cake stall for the 186 Lane Walker Rudkin workers who have lost their jobs raised some $1300 - which comes out at about $7.00 per worker. This isn't even enough to buy Prime Minister John Key's famous 'block of cheese'.

This money, says the NDU, is going into a 'fighting fund' for LWR workers.

Unfortunately the NDU officlals aren't actually doing much fighting themselves. Indeed the NDU has just about capitulated. This is a 'fight' that certainly won't go the distance.

Faced with a deepening economic crisis, unions like the NDU are stuck in a quagmire of their own making. The years of playing footsty with the Labour Government have taken their toll - the union bureaucracy simply don't know how to fight. And, having embraced neoliberalism, they can't even offer an economic alternative.

What has Laila Harré, National Secretary of the National Distribution Union, got to offer former LWR workers?

She's 'hoping' for the government to come through with funds for a resource centre to help workers search for new jobs.

Isn't that what Work and Income is supposed to be there for? And, given the fact that unemployment is rocketing up, what new jobs is Harre talking about? Or is just making some noise to give the impression that the NDU is actually doing something?

And it gets worse.

She's calling for Westpac and the government to pay the redundancy and holiday pay owing the sacked workers. Harre is in cloudcuckooland if she really thinks this is going to happen.

As the Alliance Party and others have said the obvious solution is to put LWR into public ownership.

But the feeble NDU, despite having just finished a two day conference to discuss the crisis in the manufacturing sector, hasn't even raised this as possibility. What is the NDU scared of?


  1. Never fear, the fat cat trade union officials will continue to pick up their very large salaries - that's very important.


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