Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Mike's Minute: Was the union win over TVNZ really a win?

Is the union getting the win over TVNZ in their desire to lay some people off really a win?

When TVNZ sacked me many years ago, a lot of people advised me to fight them. They said I had a good case and would win.

My argument was, why on earth would I fight someone who doesn’t want to employ me? So, we negotiated a cheque and I wandered on my way.

Fast forward 25-odd years and the scenario is slightly different. TVNZ is in a world of financial pain, and they need to do something about it.

And that's the key to all this. They will do something about it, because they can't afford not to.

The fact they didn’t, according to the bloke at the tribunal was because they failed on one of the myriad of clauses in what is clearly a fairly complex collective agreement, doesn’t actually mean anything changes.

All that’s happened is they will go back to the boardroom, meeting room, whatever room they yack about these things in, and re-litigate what has already been litigated.

The people involved get nothing other than more pain and a delayed inevitability and that's before you get to the irony that the two programmes at the centre of this, Fair Go and Sunday, have finished this week anyway.

This has played out the way it has because unions need to be seen to be doing something. This was a move by the unions to make the unions look like it might be worth you paying your sub.

The warning, I would have thought, is it was driven by Michael "light rail" Wood, who has taken his inability to do a lot productive at national-political level and channelled it back into industrial scraps with tribunals.

None of this helps anyone.

At the end of the day, business is business and if the business is in trouble, which it is, miracles, bright ideas and concessions are dealt with very early on in the process.

No business sets out to do what TVNZ has done because they are bored, or devoid of tapping into all possible ideas.

We are at the end of the line.

As they got to that line they erred, according to the adjudicator of erring.

Michael Wood might feel it’s a win, but then Michael Wood has a job.

Let's see how many of those he saves by delaying the inevitable.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings - where this article was sourced.

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