No hassles or delays for the General Secretary of the National Distribution Union at the opening of the Rugby World Cup! Robert Reid was in the VIP lounge with several government ministers...
I commented last week that I hoped the Rugby World Cup would blow up in John Key's smiling face, never really expecting that it would.
But it has! Before the first game even began a debacle was unfolding in Auckland that has had the Government running for cover and blaming everyone else ( especially Auckland mayor, Len Brown) for the PR disaster.
We could be in for even more humiliation for the Government now that it has 'stepped in' to rescue the RWC from the shambles that it helped to create in the first place. With Murray McCully in charge, anything is possible!
One person who avoided all the indignities that the plebs faced was the General Secretary of the National Distribution Union (NDU), Robert Reid.
Reid was in the VIP lounge hobnobbing with government ministers.
In fact he came to the defence of one of the ministers accused of boorish behaviour by an Australian paper.
Reid has described Maurice Williamson's behaviour as 'colourful but not offensive'. Whatever this means.
Robert Reid's behaviour though has definitely been offensive. As the useless head of the NDU he has consistently failed to defend the interests of his members.
Over the last couple of years I've written several reports about Reid's less than impressive behaviour.
In 2009 for example he failed to defend the interests of his members when the Line 7 clothing manufacturer went belly-up. Reid's only response was to throw up his hands in despair.
'I'm worried for the future of the Line 7 workers' he wailed.
When 87 workers lost their jobs at the Pacific Brands clothing manufacturer in March of 2009 , Reid's response was to shrug his shoulders and cry a few crocodile tears.
The NDU press release was headed "Another day, another closure: Pacific Brand's NZ workers get the bad news.'
Reid even had the cheek to say that it was 'a relief' that a final announcement had been made on the closure of Pacific Brands.
No campaign was mounted to defend the threatened jobs. Reid's only concern was that "Pacific Brands workers redundancy payments are safe if closure and redundancy is the final decision".
When the Canterbury clothing manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin went bust with the loss of over 200 jobs, the pathetic response of the NDU was to organise a few cake stalls to raise a 'fighting fund.' This lasted a mere few weeks.
Reid became the national secretary of the NDU in August 2009.
On the Labour-aligned blog The Standard, 'Eddie' approvingly wrote:
'Robert Reid’s a solid unionist with more than thirty-five years in the movement. The transition should be pretty seamless, Reid’s had a very hands-on leadership role in the union over the last couple of years and he’s highly regarded in the movement. A natural choice for the position really.'
'Eddie' was Jenny Michie who was, at the time , the Communications Manager for the Labour Party. She is now working for the Public Service Association.
Now, in 2011, here we have Reid living it up in the VIP Lounge at Eden Park and coming to the defence of government ministers...