The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) says it is furious at Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson for “taking sides” in the debate over The Hobbit. Mr Finlayson said yesterday that the Government had sought legal advice from the Crown Law Office confirming that The Hobbit producers had the law on their side in refusing to enter into a union-negotiated agreement with performers who were independent contractors. CTU president Helen Kelly said that advice was biased towards Jackson and as a lawyer, Mr Finlayson would know that. “That’s like saying, ‘I can’t talk to you because this conversation would be illegal,'” Ms Kelly said. Just because there would be contractors working on the project that did not rule out having a union contract, she said. More..