At a time when everybody's making sacrifices and compromises, and that includes many businesses and workers, imagine my surprise when lab workers announced they're going ahead with planned strike action this Friday.
These are lab workers who work in labs that test for Covid-19, so they're at the coal face of the coronavirus response, and they're happy to just down tools. Smack bang in the middle of our crisis response.
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The Ministry of Health has said it's "poor timing". I would've thought that's the understatement of the year.
The district health board lab workers and NZ Blood Service employees, who are members of the APEX Union, will strike for the day to protest pay and conditions. They want action on their collective agreement, they're aggrieved that, despite lab members "holding university qualifications, they earn 12 per cent less than a similarly qualified, registered nurse".
Look, I get it. That sucks, you have an axe to grind, you're getting no cut through with the negotiators, you're angry and you want resolution. But seriously? Now? The strike action is ongoing until May, why not pause Friday's strike given the circumstances and pick it up at a later date?
Why risk losing public support and sympathy, by being petulant enough to strike now?
With all the businesses and people doing it so tough right now, does your desire to strike, take precedence over all other rational thought? How disconnected do you have to be from reality, to think your collective agreement dispute over-rides public duty to have lab test results seamlessly processed without disruption during a coronavirus outbreak?
Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the timing "wasn't very good", but reiterated the strike will not impact testing for Covid-19.
He said the workers involved, "were not involved directly in the testing", but it's still disruption in labs, that do have non-union members frantically working to process results.
Any way you slice it, it does cause disruption, and it's a selfish act. It's putting their own cause before the greater good at a time when many businesses are being asked to sacrifice.
Bloomfield said it was disappointing, and unfortunate that the workers were using the coronavirus period to attempt some kind of leverage.
I don't think anyone will have any sympathy for that. I'm also not sure health authorities will be finding the time to prioritise these grievances and negotiations, given holding people over a barrel during tough times like this, tends not to hold much sway.
I'd like to think they reconsider before Friday. But I doubt it.