Progressive Enterprises Wins Roger Award
21 March 2007
Wins Roger Award For The Worst Transnational Corporation
Operating In NZ In 2006
Telecom A Very Close Runner Up
The seven finalists were: Telecom, Toll, ANZ, British American Tobacco, Progressive Enterprises, Contact Energy and ABB.
The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation which is 25% or more foreign-owned) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: Economic Dominance - monopoly, profiteering, tax dodging, cultural imperialism; People - unemployment, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, impact on children, abuse of workers/conditions, health and safety of workers and the public, cultural imperialism; Environment - environmental damage, abuse of animals; Political interference - cultural imperialism, running an ideological crusade.
The judges were Laila Harre, from Auckland, National Secretary of the National Distribution Union and former Cabinet Minister; Mary-Ellen O’Connor, from Nelson, a senior educationalist and political activist; Geoff Bertram, from Wellington, a Victoria University economist; Brian Turner, from Christchurch, a Methodist minister and social justice activist; Paul Corliss, from Christchurch, a life member of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union and Cee Payne-Harker, from Dunedin, Industrial Services Manager for the NZ Nurses’ Organisation and health issues activist.
Roger Award is organised by the two Christchurch-based
groups, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa and
GATT Watchdog, with the support of Christian World Service.
Further details are here.
Previous winners: BNZ/Westpac (joint), Telecom, Tranz Rail (3 times), Juken Nissho, Carter Holt Harvey. Monsanto & TransAlta.
Because of her obvious conflict of interest, the Chief Judge, Laila Harre, played no role whatsoever in the judges’ final vote to pick Progressive as the winner. She accepted that position long before the lockout by Progressive.
It is no surprise that Progressive won the Roger because of that September 06 national lockout of its supermarket distribution centre workers, an all-out attack on its own workers, a naked attempt to smash the unions representing them and to starve those lowpaid workers into submission.
The Australian transnational failed completely and had to back down after one of the biggest union fightbacks in recent NZ history. To quote the Judges’ Report: “Typical of the trans-national culture, there was a willingness to act off-shore in a way that would not be acceptable under the nose of home-country investors and stakeholders… an award of this nature to Progressive is not a stamp of approval for its locally owned rival Foodstuffs. Indeed competitive pressure from Foodstuffs’s lightly unionised and generally lower paid workforce has contributed to Progressive’s tactics…
Telecom, having been a finalist every year since the Award’s inception in 1997, was the very close runner up because “in 2006… it continued to disappoint customers, argue every point with regulators, and so totally mismanaged the roll out of ‘faster cheaper broadband’ while frustrating its competitors that it probably cost NZ a fortune in lost opportunities…”
for the organisers
CAFCA & GATT Watchdog