John Armstrong writes:
The left-wing activists who stormed the Sky City Hotel last Sunday in an inevitably futile attempt to force their way into the National Party conference should take a good hard look at themselves.
The noisy fracas with security guards inside Auckland’s Temple to Capitalism certainly got the activists what they wanted – top-of-the-bulletin coverage on that evening’s television news. But if they think such tactics are going to mobilise public opinion against the Government’s just-released package of workplace law reforms then they should think again.
Their actions were widely viewed within the Labour Party as unhelpful, though no one was saying so publicly.
While others on the left have been quick to label National’s package as a “class war” being waged on the country’s workers, Labour has avoided using such over-the-top language.
When it comes to portraying National’s policy prescription, there is a danger of crying wolf. More so because much of the package is based on National’s 2008 election policy. That prescription pleasantly surprised some left-wing commentators for being so moderate and not a return to the Employment Contracts Act. They cannot now turn around and argue that the package released by Key last Sunday is designed to wage class war.
And many aspects will actually be welcomed by employees such as the ability to trade leave for pay.
Even the 90 day trial period will be popular with many employees I reckon. We’ve all seen new people hired at a workplace and within a week or two it is apparent they are not up to the job. It isn’t just the bosses, but the other employees, who often have to carry them until they finally leave.