Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hobbit film arrangements could see all employment law and conditions undermined...

Cropped screenshot of the Warner Brothers film...Image via WikipediaThe whole Hobbit film charade was a union beat-up. Peter Jackson was looking after his own backside and blamed the rather naive union leaders for the whole controversy. The unions didn't create the situation, but gave the NZ government somebody to blame They will learn from it.. And Jackson has no credibility any more as a person, apart from his obvious film making abilities.

The Hollywood heavies from Warner Brothers films  had a bottom line: They wanted higher subsidies for the two Hobbit films and some guarantees that there would not be any union disruption; there are no guarantees for the future.

The Avator films were coming here regardless of the Hobbit controversy. The whole thing was an emotional  beat-up and New Zealand and its people the losers.

It has been claimed  that the cost of the Hobbit films could be higher than the extra $15 million in subsidies. signed away recently, and kiwi workers could be the real losers here.

The door has been opened for a radical rewrite of of our employment laws that will see workers rights stripped away even further than in the past - contracting work could start to be the norm in other industries too.  A distinct class of workers has been defined - the real relationship between 'masters and servants'.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association wants the new law that was rushed through under urgency extended to all sectors. If this was ever done workers in this country would have all their rights and benefits stripped away from them: Holiday pay, sick pay and the protection of employment laws

As contractors you would have to provide all your own tools and equipment, rent your desks, computers, pay for your own telephones etc.

The Warner Brothers hitmen wanted certainty in the industry here. Something they can't guarantee back home in the US . But at present under existing law, the Inland Revenue Department, the employees themselves and other government departments can challenge any bogus arrangements.

It has been said that we must protect the existing master - servant foundation of our employment laws, because it is based on facts, not convenience. And also protects existing working conditions. Even the Employment Contracts Act of 1991 couldn't undermine employment law, just amend it.

But Peter Jackson supports the undermining of our employments laws to enable him to make a few million dollars more from his film making. He should be run out of New Zealand under permanent exile. What did he do to earn his knighthood? Now you know why Helen Clark and the previous Labour -led government abolished these colonial rewards. Peter Jackson and the ratbags from Warner Brothers films deserve each other!

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