Parliament and union office fail Stockton workers

Workers betrayed again

Solid Energy are set to kick 137 staff and 50 contractors out of their jobs at the Stockton coalmine near Westport.

Today the company told staff that it planned to cut production at the opencast mine by a quarter over the next financial year in response to low international coal prices.

"We feel for the staff and their families and for the wider Westport community who will be affected by this, but by reducing activity we believe we can keep the operation viable with the continued benefits for the community," Solid Energy chief executive Dan Clifford said.

Translation: " A few bullshit words for the workers and continuing profits for us"

The company will make changes to rosters and training to increase the number of employees who could carry out a range of jobs at the mine.

Translation: "Harder work will be loaded onto the remaining workers, at a time when they're just relieved to be in a job"

The company proposes to stitch all this anti worker package up tight in the next fortnight.

What can be done?

Labour state-owned enterprises spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said today's job losses followed another 700 lost because of Solid Energy's "disastrous" management.

He said SOE Minister Tony Ryall and Finance Minister Bill English were "warned repeatedly" about the problems facing Solid Energy, but took no action.

"Tony Ryall is responsible for every one of these job losses," Cosgrove said.

Big claims Clayton.

Would Labour restore "every one of those job losses if elected later this year?


When it comes to redundancies, Labour mps are good for one thing only, deflecting workers anger. Oh, and using the worker's plight to advance their own personal careers.

Faced this such well worn political failure to assist them, workers should be able to turn to their union for something better

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union offer Stockton workers two things.

One, an echo of Labour's self serving words.

Garth Elliot, EPMU union organiser for the Stockton miners, said the Government allowed Solid Energy to rack up debt and overvalue itself in the hope that the Government could "flog it off" as part of its asset sales programme.

Two, Elliot also promised to work with Solid Energy to ensure any redundancies were made as fairly as possible, he said.

Not to oppose or fight the redundances, but to help acilitate them.

Time after time, wholesale job losses take place irrespective of parliament.

Time after time, union officials do nothing more than echo the worthless words of mps .

Isn't it time to get off the capitalist merry go round and ask some basic questions about how we could better react to redundancies?


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