Barry Soper writes:
Martin Luther Cunliffe’s dream job’s becoming a nightmare for Labour Party apparatchiks.
Cunliffe’s become something of a gunslinger, firing staff who are thought to have supported either Rainbow Robertson or Shame Jones in the leadership race.
The new Labour Party head honcho certainly isn’t practising what he’s been preaching. In the race for the Party’s top job he made much play of what he said were the Government’s draconian labour laws.
Martin Luther preached about how he was going to take them apart if he becomes the Prime Minister next year, like extending to all workers Part 6a of the Employment Relations Act that at the moment applies only to vulnerable workers, like cleaners. Employers are forced to keep them on after winning a contract from a competitor.
Well you could argue that the 25 Labour apparatchiks employed under a Shearer contract should be able to continue under Cunliffe, if he does indeed practice what he preaches.
But rather than keeping them on he’s accusing some of them of supporting his leadership opponents and they’re fired. And for the rest he’s asking them where their loyalty was in the run up to the leadership vote.
Now that’s in breach of employment law where workers are entitled to privacy. So this lawmaker could now find himself on the wrong side of the law if one of the Labour workers takes a case against him.
I would hope the decision on which staff members are retained are taken on the basis of their competence and professionalism, not based on whom they may have voted for in a secret ballot.
Also one can have a preference in a leadership race, and work as a dedicated professional staffer to a new leader. I had a small role in trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Don Brash’s coup against Bill English. However once the decision was made by caucus I started working loyally for Don within minutes and Don kept me on in his new office, despite my rather public support for Bill. He trusted my professionalism and loyalty, and I was always very grateful for that.Tags: David Cunliffe, Labour