Sunday, September 10, 2006

Our Business

On radio last week Marty Hamnett, Progressive Managing Director, said that other unions shouldn't get involved in a struggle that was none of their business.

He really doesn't get it - this lock-out is my business, it's your business, it's the business of every single person who sells their labour in order to survive. The whole point of joining a union is to work collectively - both that we're stronger together than we are alone, but also that our interests are intertwined.

There are an awful lot of people who understand this. People have been collecting money for the locked out workers in Wellington over the last few days and the response has been amazing.

There's a reason Progressive are getting scared. The wharfies, both here and overseas, are considering declaring any cargo destined for Progressive Supermarkets black - so wharfies wouldn't load or unload it.

12 comments:

  1. Maia - the danger you have in your line of reasoning about why the other Unions should join in is that the business community may just take it too.

    this lock-out is my business, it's your business, it's the business of every single person who has employees. The whole point of running a company is to provide value to its stakeholders - both that we're stronger together than we are alone, but also that our interests are intertwined.

    I can see your screams of outrage now if other companies started to help funding Progressive in support of their lockout.

    Secondly Progressive is upset about things like the wharfies blacklisting stock as that would prevent those people *in support* of Progressive to continue showing their support by shopping there.

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  2. WellRed1:18 pm

    iiq374, the companies need the workers more than the workers need the companies. I grant you that is not the common view - that is precisely how those with capital want it to be known.

    I welcome a total lock out by companies - now is good!

    All I need to surive is food, water, clothing and shelter. I could get all these things without money and therefore without selling my labour to the company but that is against the rules.

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  3. Gerrit5:27 am

    WellRed,

    I like your isolationist theory. Go for it. Hope your cave doesn't get too damp.

    If capital is not important why strike for more of it. Sorry get locked out when you ask for more of it.

    Unfortunately for you companies needs workers as much as workers need companies. Each is mutually dependent on the other. You could replace private companies with state owned ones but they are still companies.

    I dont think PEL is running scared but are probably looking to close the distribution warehouses anyway. Possibly to send stock directly from Australian warehousing or better still direct from the suppliers into individual supermarkets.

    Another factor that suggest that they want to close the warehouses is shopping trends. The growth of local perishable goods retailers such as butchers, greengrocers and bakeries has taken market share out from the supermarkets in areas where they used to make the biggest dollar. (it is now even cheaper to buy milk and bread at the local dairy then from the supermarket).

    These market forces (you and me shopping where the quality and pricing is better) are very powerful. The era of supermarkets as a one stop store are fading fast.

    The distribution union needs to take these into account as the jobs in these distribution centres may disappear altogether.

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  4. Gerrit - reinforcing your argument is the number of suppliers that were already delivering direct to store. EG Coke et al.

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  5. WellRed4:56 pm

    If there was an ongoing strike/lockout that went across all industries involving all workers in NZ - very unlikely I know but one can live in hope - who would it hurt the most?

    The companies would fold and yes the workers would lose their jobs.

    Would all the food, water, houses, clothes that are already here disappear because of it? No. Would we all die of starvation and dehydration? No.

    What would we do? Imagine communities working together for their own benefit rather than that of the economy? You probably cannot imagine it because you have been conditioned not to.

    Capitalism as we know it (where people buy to sell, rather than sell to buy and where debt generates the money supply therefore creating a ever increasing spiral) must and will eventually fall.

    Have you given any thought to what life will be like that after that event?

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  6. Gerrit5:51 pm

    WellRed,

    While there are people, capitalism will be there in some form. Why?

    Will leave that to more astute pilosophers then me but have a feeling it has to do with greed.

    Companies are nothing but a colletive of people who have put their collective capital together to jointly try and better their financial position (greedy eh!).

    People have a choice. They can either be like you and not participate in the capitalist system or buy shares or set up their own businesses and exploit the system to buy the goods and services they think will improve their lives.

    While you think this system will collapse I dont hink it will. Why? It has been around since Adam was a cowboy and unless you know a better way for a fisherman say to barter his catch for a feed of cabbages then using currency (capital - which can be anything from seashells to dollars to fish or cabbages) I think it will be around for ever.

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  7. WellRed - yes; it would be most like the USSR, most African nations and virtually all those places that are least like those where I would want to live.

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  8. Caskman8:29 am

    "Capitalism as we know it (where people buy to sell, rather than sell to buy and where debt generates the money supply therefore creating a ever increasing spiral) must and will eventually fall. "

    I agree - but not for the reasons you're talking about.
    The current debt based monetary system is not the fault of 'capitalism' - it is the fault of the state maintaining a monopoly over the supply of legal tender. This system is unsustainable as they debase the value of the money supply through inflation. The greed based selling you allude to is also fuelled by artificially created credit - again look to govt control of money supply via fractional reserve banking.

    At the end of the day if you ever voluntarily exchange anything with anyone else you have capitalism. Free and voluntary exchange (i.e. a 'free' market) for mutual benefit unencumbered by external force (most notably the state and it's legal system) *IS* capitalism. The corrupt mercantilist mixed system we have now where corps share a bed with govt to achieve their ends through govt force is a poisonous parody of capitalism.

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  9. WellRed3:28 pm

    Caskman,

    I am under the impression that the money supply is created mostly by banks lending money. Say a bank has 100k, lends it all out and gets 110k in return. Then lends 110k out, in return for more and on and on. I believe that there is supposed to be a limit on how much they can lend - 90%?? But they ignore it anyway and lend 100% of the amount returned (110k in this instance). And this assumes that banks always have the money before they lend it out - which I am not convinced is the case.

    Can you enlighten me?

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  10. banks use what is known as the wilkers-matheson system....basically this involves the use of overseas credit as security for any investiture that the banks decide to make, whether domestically or abroad. The issue of creating money doesnt come from the banks lending more than they actually have in their possession. Its all to do with how much interest is accrued via mortgage rates, topped up also by government spending in the financial sector

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  11. wellred - the reserves are maintained by the Reserve Bank (freaky as to the coincidence there...) and the capital adequecy ratios are monitored there.

    Say a bank has 100k, lends it all out and gets 110k in return.
    And where do you think the 10k came from? Interest charged by banks acts as a deflatinary influence on the economy. It is the lending in the first place allowing accelerated consumption that can have an inflationary effect. Both of which as caskman alluded to are influenced by Govt policy over capital adequecy, the official cash rate, and monetary supply.

    Government spending is actually the single biggest inflationary effect in the economy due to the claw back of circa 1/3 of the "profit" in re-taxation.

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