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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 2. March 27, 1958


Mr Collins began by examining the attitude of the worker in New Zealand to his work, and he maintained that it was "the least possible for the most money." The speaker went on to claim that when this same worker was called on in an emergency, then he would do a job which could be bettered by no one.

"Generally there is no feeling of doing a job of community importance," said Mr. Collins. "'She'll do' and 'near enough' apply to many jobs, and there is little real interest in them. But when a job does require skill and ingenuity and application by the same man, then 'she'll do' and near enough' become expressions of satisfaction in a job well done.

"A skilled man in a skilled job has a pride in his work, but there is far too, little incentive and recognition for the man in the lowly and menial job. Our sense of values is all wrong. The dustman is just as valuable to our society as the doctor. But generally speaking the worker's attitude, in his own words, is 'I don't come here for the work, it's the money."

Mr N. A. Collins, Trade Unionist. Represented a group of trade unions on a visit to the U.S.S.R. in 1952 and has also visited Great Britain. Officer and member of several Christchurch committees concerned with youth and International work.

On the question of whether or not the trade union movement was outdated and unnecessary in these times, Mr. Collins maintained that the last Government's actions in passing laws discriminating and aiming against trade unions were sure evidence that nothing could be taken for granted or that a point once gained will always remain.

"Over the last year or so, there have been moves by employers to have awards altered to lower wages, increased hours of work, and to lower working conditions. So long as moves such as this have to be met, unions are not outdated." He went on to say that it did not need a depression to make unions a live force.

Mr. Collins maintained that the Government does not provide ideal working conditions for its employees, and thus eliminate the need for trade unions there. In evidence of this, he quoted the 1950-51 railway strike to get progress in wage negotiations "with the Government deliberately stalling," the recent disturbances in the police force, and the trouble over teachers' wages.