by Daphna Whitmore
Tony Gibson, the Ports of Auckland CEO, wants more women working on the docks. Are we to believe that Gibson’s a great guy who wants to promote women’s rights? Yeah right.
Gibson’s vision is of women working in a casual capacity on a wharf where labour is contracted out. Cheap, flexible (for the boss), insecure jobs are what he has in mind.
The man who says he’s going to sack the existing wharfies and replace them with casual/contract labour is no friend of women workers.
No, Mr Gibson, women don’t need more casual, insecure, low-paid work.
We need secure, well-paid work with a real say in the hours worked. The sort of conditions that you get on a unionised worksite. Barriers to women working on the wharves can be sorted through workers’ solidarity, not by smashing existing conditions.
Mr Gibson’s concern for women is rather like that of George Bush and the US Administration’s concern for Afghan and Iraqi women’s rights. When the boss class are at a loose end for something to weight their case they have an occasional and limited quickening of the heart in the direction of those suffering women.
There’s only one thing Gibson genuinely believes in: profit.