The trade union movement has suffered a devastating loss, with the passing yesterday of Helen Kelly, the former President of New Zealand’s Council of Trade Unions.
Have you ever been called into a meeting with you boss? Here's a guide to some things to remember if that ever happens to you.
Warren asks: I’ve been called in for a meeting tomorrow morning. They say it’s because I haven’t followed safety procedure at work as I wasn’t wearing my goggles. I just forgot. He’s being pretty heavy handed I reckon as I only would've‘needed them on for about 5 minutes anyway. What can I do?
Bullying comes in many forms. Whether it involves threats, physical intimidation or being purposely ignored by your colleagues, it doesn't belong in any workplace. But there is something you can do about it....
K asks: I have been here for two months and no one talks to me. There are 6 of us in the office and I try to be friendly but unless they have to, no one says anything to me. It would be ok but they all talk to each other so it’s really obvious they’re ignoring me. I haven’t done anything – it was like that from my first day. I think it’s because the person whose job I’m doing was sacked and she was popular here. I know I sound stupid because It’s only little things but it’s really upsetting me. Every Friday they all go out for lunch together and they’ve never asked me. It was one of their birthdays last week and she brought in a cake. She cut a slice for everyone but there wasn’t one for me. Then today I went into the tearoom and there were three of them doing imitations of how I talk (I have an accent) and calling me something nasty. They stopped when they saw me but as I walked out I heard them laughing. It’s got to me feeling sick when I leave home for work and I just want to cry. I am really embarrassed to be writing this as I’m 32 years old and should be able to work this out. My husband tells me I should try to put up with it but I don’t know if I can. Please don’t tell me to leave my job because I can’t afford to.
Jak ask: I’ve just started my first job. My Mum told me to make sure I join the union so when I handed in my paperwork I asked who I should join and the payroll man said they didn’t have a union as the boss made sure they looked after us properly so we didn’t need one. It seems pretty true as everyone is really nice at work so I don’t know who to believe.