Monday, November 14, 2005

I have theological objections to capitalism

So today's biggest nutcase is Carl van Zijll de Jong. He owns a clothing factory in Christchurch and his employment relationships were on the exploitative and illegal side. The Employment Relations Authority found against him, and he's refusing to pay because God told him not to. But that's not even the nuttiest thing:

Thompson will continue to pursue the money his client is owed. Van Zijll de Jong said he would accept the consequences of his stance, whatever they were.

"What can they ultimately do? They can only take your possessions. They can have my material things. I'm not worried about it," he said. "It's a test to build up my character. You can never be able to build up your character if you don't go through problems."
If they can have his material things why doesn't he give the woman her fucking money - all money is is material things.

This sounds ridiculous but under other circumstances employers can claim "God told me not to" and get away with it. Under New Zealand law authorised agents of a registered trade union can enter a workplace to conduct union meeting, unless that workplae is a small workplace and the employer has an religious objection to unions.

The bretherens claim that they have a religious objection to unions because it interferes with the master servant relationship, which they believe is a Godly institution (and, of course, God made the leaders of the church the masters in this situation). This is ridiculous; the employer's beliefs should have no affect on a worker's rights.

Go listen to Checkpoint on this issue, particularly the second interview which is with Laila Harre (there's a story about how come she's now the secretary of the National Distribution Union - as one union official put it "Democracy has broken out in the union movement").

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:50 am

    Some kind person left a copy of Bob Avakian's writings on communism and religion in my letter box yesterday.
    In that tract Bob makes a powerful case for the left to be more assertive in opposing religion.
    Its quite on the cards that this little bastard will get away with robbing this worker. What price Labour's "fair nad ballanced industrial legislation"?
    Leftists and unionists in Christchurch should approach her with a view to picketing the shit out of his establishment.