At the last election the union movement put a lot of energy promoting voting for a worker-friendly government after the election. Yesterday Michael Cullen had this to say:
We cannot afford large wage and salary increases across the board. Equally we can't afford to lose highly skilled staff which are necessary for the maintenance of economic development. Unfortunately that does mean you can't expect wage and salaries to compensate you for what are major shifts in relative prices over which we ourselves have no control.Idiot/Savant points out the sheer hypocrisy of Michael Cullen accepting an 8.1% pay-rise. That's not my main objection, my main objection is that Michael Cullen claimed that the government was doing its part by holding firm against the demands of the junior doctors and the radiographers (and the junior doctors aren't even striking over wage claims so he's factually incorrect on top of everything else).
This is not a worker friendly government, it never has been, and it was never going to be.
Edited to add: The Council of Trade Unions is taking exactly the sort of hard-line stance you would expect them to take - Unions React to Wage Restraint Call. I bet business is quailing in their shoes at the thought that the unions are reacting.