Is there any hope for local Canterbury manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin and the nearly five hundred jobs that are on the line?

Today Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker chaired an' informal meeting 'between interested parties' including the unions, the Social Development Ministry and receivers.

This was basically a 'damage control' meeting - it gives the appearance of something being done for the LWR workers but the cold hard reality is that a whole bunch of neoliberal politicians and some complacent unionists will achieve little.

The bitterly ironic thing is that some of the people who attended this meeting, including Labour MP Ruth Dyson and Parker himself, are supporters of the very same neoliberal economic policies that contributed to putting LWR into the economic crapper in the first place.

And workers cannot expect to be adequately defended by union officials either.

As the Alliance Party has also commented the real answer is to put LWR into public ownership but you won't hear that argument from the Labour-aligned union hierarchy.

National Distribution Union southern region secretary Paul Watson, dipping into his book of cliches, said yesterday that he was hoping for a 'positive way forward for LWR.'

Said Watson:

'The next step from us is looking to see what recovery package can be realistically looked at here, and what resources can be looked here, and what resources do we need to support that both at the local industry and national government level.'

So there's going to be a lot of 'looking' apparently. This is just rhetoric from Watson and LWR workers deserve a helluva lot more than just empty words.

Why isn't he demanding that LWR be put into public ownership? Why isn't he upsetting the neoliberal apple cart?

Of course Watson is the same guy who thought the introduction of a nine day fortnight at Summit Wool Spinners in Oamaru was 'positive' too - despite the fact that 47 workers lost their jobs.


  1. I also feel for the Zeal workers represented by the EMPU - the same union that helped negotiate a pay decrease for their fellow Air New Zealand Engineers.

    Right when New Zealand workers need their Unions the most, the unions are deserting them.


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