How hopeless is the union leadership in this country? How cowardly are they? Can they get any more inept? How many more ways can they find to avoid launching a fightback against John Key and his cronies?

Try this on for size

The CTU leadership have comprehensively failed to put up any real resistance to the Government's austerity policies and yesterday it launched a campaign that is a very poor substitute for strikes and demonstrations. It's the kind of fightback that you would expect to be launched by people who should be in middle management somewhere, giving Powerpoint presentations.

It was launched yesterday by the right wing leadership of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, led by Andrew Little. He is, of course, also the Labour Party president and a man fondly described by employers as 'a pleasure to work with'.

It's called the 'Things just got tougher' campaign and it opposes the government’s new workplace law changes that take effect this Friday.

These include that extension the 90-day 'fire-at-will' law to all workplaces, the restriction of union access to workplaces, allowing employers to demand a medical certificate for a single day of sick leave or family leave, and allowing the selling off of the fourth week of holiday entitlement.

But if the going is getting tougher that doesn't mean the tough get going. Remember, we're talking the CTU here. It always take the path of least resistance.

There won't be any demonstrations or strikes because that is incompatible with the 'modern unionism' of the CTU. It's also incompatible with giving Labour 'a clear run' at the general election in November.

Instead the EPMU is sending people to politely ask bosses not to implement the new laws. Instead of using its industrial muscle the CTU is cravenly pleading to bosses not to enforce the new legislation. Yes, it is pathetic.

The EPMU have also launched a 'multimedia media' to go along with the pleading.

According to Andrew Little this includes 'online ‘clicktivism’, radio and newspaper advertising, and online social media information pages.'

All this empty campaign proves is that CTU have failed to organise any real resistance on basic economic issues. Call me old fashioned, but isn't that what trade unions are supposed to do?

Who is this campaign supposed to convince? The general populace? Bosses? The Government?

The chances that the Government and bosses are going to persuaded by a 30 second radio or television commercial is zero. How much money is the CTU wasting on these TV and radio commercials?

Similarly it's more than likely that the Government and employers will view Little's 'online clicktivism' as 'online bullshitivism'. 'Online clicktivism' simply replaces real political action with marketing.

Instead of giving us a massive and united campaign of resistance to the Government's polices the CTU has given us a Facebook page.


  1. Who could forget the CTU response to the initial 90 day bill? Well employers for a start.

    It consisted of 4 youtube interviews with 4 affected workers, one of which turned out to be a Labour Party Activist. So far they've totalled just over 11,000 views. This is what Helen Kelly likes to call defending workers rights.


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