And I’m not talking traditional software companies here!

News that the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) and the National Distribution Union (NDU) are in talks about a merger. I’ve always been dubious about unions – my experiences have largely revolved around loud mouthed pommie imports (and some of my best friends are poms – don’t get me wrong), stirring up the workers with cries of “united we stand, divided we fall”.

I’ve seen a number of times workers “forced” to do things they didn’t really want to through some kind of groupthink, power of the masses mentality.

I believe that traditional unions are a barrier to New Zealand pulling itself out of the economic mire.

I also believe that, rather than spending time and efforts on unions to “protect workers rights” we should put all our efforts into growing our economy, such that employees are such valuable parts of our organisations that no employer in its right mind would consider treating them with anything but 120% respect.

What do others think?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • I dislike unions, and actively avoid employers if it is a “union shop”.

    My experiences:

    1) During a strike, a female friend who was on work-placement. She wasn’t a union member, and therefore had to go to work or fail her course. She was punched in the face while crossing the picket line.
    2) Another friend started work in a factory, in his first day he tripled his contracted quota for the week. At lunch the second day, someone approached him and told him it was amazing how much damage was done to vehicles in the parking lot. He transferred out of the plant into an IT role as soon as possible and then spent a lot of time fighting to keep his job from being unionised.

    You just have too look at how the UAW negotiates with the automakers in the states. They pick one, negotiate with them and then turn to the others and say “Sign.”.


  • I have to say I agree with you 120% there. What would it take to get an employee value culture embedded nationally do you think? Who does it well?

  • Watch this space Lucy – I’ll post more on this soon

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