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Old-Style Unions - Old-Style Tactics

The Carter Holt Harvey-Waterfront Workers Union dispute has revealed an alarming practice of old-style unions reverting to the destructive tactics they used in the 1970s and 80s to protect their patch, National Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"Existing unions emboldened by the new Employment Relations Act are increasingly adopting old style industrial techniques to lock in their stronghold on union membership.

"The developments today that the 500,000 strong Korean Transport Workers Federation is considering a Korean Port boycott of Carter Holt Harvey's log carrier reveals the lengths established unions will go to to maintain a stronghold in workplaces.

"Some of the longer established unions believe they have a God-given right to drive out any other groups of workers that have legally registered as unions.

"What's more the CTU is getting in behind them too.

"The Waterfront Workers campaign is to stop other groups of workers choosing their own union representatives, and to get monopoly coverage of the ports.

"Now we see the professional fire fighters' union trying to drive out another registered union from negotiating with the Fire Service Commission.

"If a private company had engaged in this sort of activity - which is all about trying to establish monopoly powers - it would be hauled before the Commerce Commission and fined heavily. It seems there is one rule for the private sector and another for unions under the Labour Alliance Government ."



Anna Hughes

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