Neasa’s recent newsletters, SEIFSA the supervillain now wants to be the hero and Beware SEIFSA’s latest scam, have breached acceptable boundaries of civilised discourse.
Neasa CEO Gerhard Papenfus is entitled to his views on collective bargaining no matter how prejudiced, tendentious and selective they may be. He is further entitled to disagree, as strongly as he wishes, with those who do not share his opinions. In his latest diatribe, however, Mr Papenfus has breached all acceptable boundaries of civil and civilised discourse. Not content with demonising and defaming SEIFSA, he has vilified and crassly impugned the integrity of the negotiating parties and processes currently underway at industry level.
In making sundry sneering references to aspects of what is currently before the negotiating parties, he is further guilty of propagating a particular obnoxious form of collective bargaining bigotry. In taking issue with what SEIFSA is attempting to pursue, Mr Papenfus shamelessly plays the man rather than the ball. In common with his fellow anti-collective bargaining protagonists, it is not enough for him to portray those that refuse to support his views as being merely wrong. Instead, he depicts them as being so morally twisted as to make anything they might have to say entirely unworthy of notice. This is a classic totalitarian tactic that anyone genuinely committed to the values of freedom of thought and debate will as a matter of course regard with abhorrence.
Centralised collective bargaining elicits strong opinions on all sides, and the Metals and Engineering Industries deserves a fair, honest debate on the facts of this very volatile and emotional issue. If Mr Papenfus wishes to debate those facts, that is perfectly legitimate. Instead as is his custom, he has resorted to vilifying SEIFSA. Indeed, this approach is one that many enemies of centralised collective bargaining routinely adopt, thereby ensuring that their views, and only theirs, are heard.
Negotiations between the industry trade unions and the employers’ associations federated to SEIFSA continue on 5 and 12 July 2021. As per the mandate given to SEIFSA by its affiliated member associations, SEIFSA remain steadfast in its quest to secure a deal with as little disruption to the industry as possible and SEIFSA will continue to communicate the contents of that deal, not just to our membership, but more importantly to the sector as a whole. We invite Neasa, led by Mr Papenfus, to do likewise.