Unions should not be picketing at PaknSave, says Phil O’Reilly

Press Release – BusinessNZ
BusinessNZ has criticised unions taking industrial action over the issue of starting wages. This morning First union members set up pickets outside a supermarket in Royal Oak in Auckland. “Picketing against a lawful activity is not what unions should be doing,” said BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly. 

“Companies that contribute strongly to their communities, offering employment and career opportunities to young people while investing heavily in their training, deserve better than this.

“Offering a first step on the employment ladder to a young person is one of the most valuable things a New Zealand company can do.

“A young unskilled person is disadvantaged in competing against more experienced and trained people in the labour market.  Starting wages help young people gain experience and better equip them to be able to compete on stronger terms.

“Union activity against companies that support youth employment is ideologically motivated and is itself damaging to young people’s employment prospects,” Mr O’Reilly said.

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  1. Mike, 2. May 2013, 11:49

    It’s called democracy Phil, the right to lawfully protest against things which you believe are not right, even though they may be lawful. Just as your organization is free to protest about things they don’t like. If you are yearning for the good old days when employers could do what they like to workers without any consequences, then there are plenty of flights going out of here to places that might suit you better, like China, Phillippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh.

  2. Keith, 3. May 2013, 11:21

    The basic premise of this argument is sound enough but as a whole it is not very balanced, so not very helpful to the issue being scrutinized.

    “Union activity against companies that support youth employment is ideologically motivated” and he (O’Reilly) is not?

    Employers need employees and visa versa. Working diligently and showing good work ethics and habits should be rewarded and more importantly valued over and above monetary value, a relationship in other words, for both parties…
    and that is the basis for better understanding of the issues, the division and cynical attitudes and lack of trust that dominate will always see two corners of a ring and an eternal boxing bout..
    disappointment and disillusion after every round with no winners, you get what you deserve they say but it doesn’t have to be, offer another alternative, listen with more care, be prepared to compromise.

    Productivity is the reward for happier staff, happy staff reward with productivity.. both sides act as though they don’t know this.