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Showing posts from June, 2008

New Zealand's Worst Employment Contract- Protest Saturday!

SATURDAY, 11AM, PROTEST NEW ZEALAND’S WORST EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT – AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Unite Union is welcoming the government’s intention to provide moreprotection for casual and part-time employees. If it’s followed through itshould mean big improvements for workers employed under New Zealand’s worst employment contract. This contract covers workers in the foodcourt at AucklandInternational Airport. This year most of these workers received a 6% cut in paywhen the company cut standard shift hours from 40 to 37.5 hours per week. Thesecuts included workers who have worked at the site for many years. “These workers should be permanent but their contract treats them as casual with nofixed or guaranteed hours of work” says Unite Union National Director MikeTreen. “They don’t even have a finishing time for their shifts – just astart time”.The proposed new law will be welcomed by the union. “We are negotiating withthe company for a collective agreement but the changes they are offe…

Zimbabwe: Mugabe cracks down on opposition

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Comrade Munya Gwisai of the Zimbabwean International Socialist Organisation visited Aotearoa last year and spoke to many of Auckland's anti capitalist activists. The ISO has now been driven underground by Mugabe's Dictatorship.

Last message from the ISO's blog-
Saturday, June 07, 2008
UNDER SEIGE OUR OFFICES IN CENTRAL HARARE HAVE BEEN RAIDED. POLICE CAME IN THE MORNING AND DEMANDED TO SEE SEVERAL LEADERS OF OUR ORGANISATION. THEY REMOVED FILES FROM OUR OFFICE.

THE POLICE CLAIM THAT OUR LAST NEWSPAPER ISSUE WAS "INFLAMATORY" OR "INCITING".

THEY ALSO DEMANDED TO KNOW WHO WRITES FOR OUR NEWSPAPER, WHERE IT IS TYPED AND WHERE IT IS PRINTED.

OUR COMRADES MANAGED TO JUST ESCAPE WITH OUR ONLY COMPUTER.

SOLIDARITY MESSAGES CAN BE TEXED OR PHONED THROUGH TO +263 912 908 847 OR +263 11 875 976 OR +263 23 295722 OR E-MAIL iso.zim@gmail.com or socialismfrombelow@gmail.com or keepleftct@gmail.com

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST ORGANISATION
P.O. BOX 6758, HAR…

John Minto: Ponder the cost of NZ’s US-like economic policies

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We have all been sickened at the callous brutality in the killing of New Zealander Navtej Singh last week.

This father of three young girls was shot during a botched robbery of his bottle store in Manurewa.

This was not a planned, premeditated crime. It was a hapless, pathetic attempt to get booze and cash.

There is argument about the police response and the time taken before clearance was given for an ambulance to tend to Singh but while issues like this are important, they are dwarfed by the bigger picture.

For a long time now, we have been on a relentless downward spiral of social breakdown.

More than any other developed country we are undergoing nothing less than the transformation of New Zealand into a mini-America, a place where the rewards are great for the few while hopelessness grows for the many.

We tend to think other countries are on the same path but we are well ahead on the road to riches and desperation.

The gap between rich and poor has grown more quickly here than in any dev…

Red Rosa Poster

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Print it out
Copy it
Put it Up
Come to the Workshop!

another great poster from Duna!

Red Rosa and the Lost Revolution

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In 1919, Bertolt Brecht wrote the poetic memorial Epitaph honouring Rosa Luxemburg, and, in 1928, Kurt Weill set it to music as The Berlin Requiem:Red Rosa now has vanished too. (...)She told the poor what life is about,And so the rich have rubbed her out.May she rest in peace.Of Rosa Luxemburg, Trotskyist writer-historian Isaac Deutscher wrote: "In her assassination Hohenzollern Germany celebrated its last triumph and Nazi Germany its first."
Rosa Luxemburg was one of the greatest revolutionary socialists of the 20th Century. Come to the Workshop organised by Socialist Aotearoa to discuss her life and involvement with the German Revolution, and the questions that this raised- reform or revolution, the power of the mass strike, the Dialectic of Spontaneity and Organisation, what kind of revolutionary organisation do workers need, and the treacherous role of Social Democracy using nascent fascist forces in Germany to murder her and her comrades.

The workshop will start with a …

Bush's final visit to Britain is overshadowed by violent clashes with anti-war protesters

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Police clashed violently with anti war protesters last night at a rally against George Bush's farewell visit to Britain. Two hundred yards from Downing Street, where Mr Bush was dining with Gordon Brown, riot police confronted hundreds of ant-war protesters as they pushed against security barriers.

There were several injuries during the stand-off which began when more than 2,500 marchers converged outside the Houses of Parliament. The Metropolitan Police deployed 1,200 officers to protect the president.

A row of barriers had been erected across Whitehall - which runs past Downing Street.
That was backed up by two rows of policemen, two lines of police vans packed tightly across the road, and then a line of mounted police officers in front of another row of sturdy barriers.

There was a sea of placards with slogans denouncing the U.S. leader as demonstrators chanted 'George Bush: terrorist' to the beating of drums. Protesters who broke through the first line of barriers were …

Off the Bookshelf- this week's recommended reading!

Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up.

Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People’s History: the centuries-long story of America’s actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of…

FRiDAY the 13th- Unlucky for Cinema Bosses!

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Friday Night was Fight Night as over a dozen workers from SkyCity Cinema in St Lukes Shopping Mall downed their popcorn scoops and walked out the front door, joining one of the most boisterous and celebratory picket lines seen in Auckland since the heady days of the SupersizeMyPay.Com campaign. Young Maori, Pasifika, Asian and Pakeha workers flew the flag and held their placards high, enlisting hundreds of honks of support from heavy traffic passing by. They were joined on the picket lines by members of Socialist Aotearoa and the Workers Party, as well as Unite Union's Matt McCarten and the NDU's Laile Harre.

A sour point to the night was reached when Westfield management enlisted the support of two young, heavily tattoed cops, to try and serve a trespass order on the Site Organiser Jared Phillips. The management felt that workers were not allowed to exercise their freedom of speech in the privatised social space of St Luke's Mall, and attempted to argue that chanting ins…

Irish Voters Reject Establishment and Vote NO to EU Lisbon Treaty

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Lisbon Treaty makes the EU more undemocraticLisbon Treaty increases the militarisation of the EU and undermines Irish neutrality.Lisbon Treaty will lead to further privatisation of public services including health and education.Lisbon Treaty will create a Europe committed to the free market and competition and restrict the power of member states acting to defend the public sector and the welfare of citizens.The Lisbon Treaty has been rejected by Irish voters sparking a crisis for plans to reform European Union structures. A total of 53.4 per cent voted to reject the treaty, while 46.6 per cent voted in favour. All but 10 constituencies rejected the treaty, with a total of 752,451 voting in favour of Lisbon and 862,415 votes against. Turnout was 53.1 per cent. Taoiseach Brian Cowen's constituency of Laois Offaly was last to declare a result and voted in favour of the treaty. Tallies from early on in the count this morning showed the No campaign appeared to be winning in most consti…

TAKAPARAWHAU

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It has been 30 years since the eviction of the Ngāti Whaatua and their supporters from Bastion Point- a lot of memories to reflect but still wariness that history could repeat itself.

Watch the Native Affairs Documentary from Maori TV HERE

Cinema Workers Strike in West City

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POPCORN STRIKE! SUPPORT THE ST LUKE's CINEMA WORKERS JOIN THE PICKET LINES TONIGHT Friday June 13th- 6.30pm, ST LUKE's SHOPPING MALL Called by UNITE union More info- txt Tom at 0294455703

WHAT ARE THE POPCORN STRIKERS FIGHTING ABOUT? INFO HERE

Popcorn strike heats up TV3 News- Wed, 11 Jun 2008 12:48p.m. SkyCity cinema workers are promising further industrial action after staff at an Auckland theatre walked off the job last night.

Management were forced to step in after 26 staff at SkyCity's WestCity Shopping Town cinema in Henderson, took to the streets at 6pm yesterday, in support of a pay increase and secure working hours.
The action has been dubbed the "popcorn" strike after staff requested cinema patrons to show support for their cause by boycotting buying food from confectionary stands.
Unite Union national director Mike Treen said today that further industrial action would continue over the next month.
"SkyCity put out a statement saying they pay the industry rat…

Food Prices increased by 11.8 percent

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No surprise that the latest release from Statistics NZ today showed that food prices have increased again. Overall food prices were up by 6.8 percent for the year and the annual increase in grocery food prices is now at 11.8 percent.

Food prices increased 1.0 percent in the May 2008 month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for the fruit and vegetables subgroup (up 3.8 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.6 percent) and grocery food (up 0.5 percent).

Within the fruit and vegetables subgroup, the main contributor to the 3.8 percent increase was higher prices for vegetables (up 11.0 percent), driven in particular by tomatoes (up 25.9 percent), lettuce (up 34.5 percent) and broccoli (up 37.3 percent). Fruit prices (down 6.1 percent) made a downward contribution to this subgroup, driven by lower prices for mandarins (down 46.5 percent) and kiwifruit (down 47.6 percent).

For the year to May 2008, food prices rose 6.8 percent. All five subgroups recorded upward contributions, with…

Mass protests shake South Korea

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The 700,000 on the huge candlelight demonstration in Seoul, on Tuesday (Pic: All Together)

More pictures HERE BBC video of gigantic protest HERE

by CJ Park in Seoul

Up to a million people gathered across South Korea on Tuesday of this week to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the 1987 June Struggle.

The June Struggle was a milestone in the history of democracy in South Korea. It ended the military dictatorship and brought many democratic reforms.

Above all, it gave working people confidence that they have the power to stop oppression and exploitation. It inspired a generation of social and political activists.

This year, however, people are not just commemorating what happened 21 years ago.

Instead, they are re-enacting the struggle in real life – and many are hoping to bring down the current right wing government of president Lee Myung-bak.

The candlelight protest movement that began in early May started as a campaign against the new government’s decision to lift the ban on US beef impo…

M is for mass strike

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A-Z of Socialism article by Mark Thomas, June 2008"...for the first time [it] awoke feeling and class-consciousness in millions upon millions as if by an electric shock... the proletarian mass... quite suddenly and sharply came to realise how intolerable was that social and economic existence which they had patiently endured for decades in the chains of capitalism. Thereupon there began a spontaneous general shaking of and tugging at these chains."This is Rosa Luxemburg's description in The Mass Strike of the impact of the strike wave that swept the Russian Empire in January and February 1905. More mass strikes followed in October and December, leaving the Tsar's autocratic regime battered if not yet overthrown. In all there were 23 million strike days in Russia during 1905, far outnumbering anything seen previously in Russia or the more advanced industrialised countries. For the first time the strike weapon was the central driving force of a revolution. The experie…

“POPCORN STRIKES” PLANNED FOR CINEMAS

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Unite Union is asking cinema patrons to boycott the confectionary sold at cinemas in support of what the union calls a “popcorn strike” until their members are able to get a better pay offer from the Cinema employers.
Unite union members in the SkyCity Cinema chain have overwhelmingly rejected their employer’s final offer made in this year’s round of bargaining. “The so-called ‘offer’ was no more than the legal minimum wage for a majority of workers” said Unite National Director Mike Treen. “If the offer was accepted cinema workers would be paid significantly less than those in the fast-food industry who are also represented by our union. “Cinema attendants are asking for a very modest pay rise with more secure hours of work. All the company has offered these staff is a discounts on parlor ice cream!” said Mr Treen.
Mechelle Warlich, Unite delegate at Skycity’s Henderson complex said, “the company’s offer is laughable. The supervisors would lose their relativity against the minimum wag…

Workers strike at Auckland Airport

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Foodcourt employees at Auckland International Airport walked off the job this morning, protesting what their union is calling "New Zealand's worst employment contract".All the strikers are members of Unite, a union aimed towards low-income workers in the service industry.Unite's National Director, Mike Treen, says their contract with the airport is "positively medieval"."These workers are vulnerable in the first place. They are mainly Maori, Pacific and recent migrants. They deserve a fair go."According to Mr Treen, foodcourt employees have no secure hours, can be asked to work up to 10 days in a row without consultation and in the past were forced to work for up to seven hours without a break. Their employer, a joint venture between Host Marriot Services Corporation and Auckland International Airport recently began allowing breaks, but Mr Treen says the shifts were reorganised in order to minimise the number employees could take.The strike, assis…

Workshop: Che Guevara, Cuba and Revolution

Speaker: Mike Treen, Unite union This Thursday 12 June 7-9pm, Room 260-219, Owen G Glen Building, Business School, University of Auckland.

Prosecution appeals Judges verdict in Raytheon Case

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Yesterday's news was a bit premature as the prosecution have moved to appeal the ruling. In other words no formal decision will be made by the court until the appeal has been heard.

Before the appeal:
Judge throws case out

At Belfast Laganside court today, the trial of the Raytheon Nine collapsed when the judge threw it out for lack of evidence.


The trial of the raytheon Nine has collapsed.
The defendents from Derry Anti War Coalition walked free after the judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Throughout the trial the Nine have maintained that their actions were legitimate as an attempt to prevent war crimes.
The judge was forced to concede this when he stated that the defendents had acted to prevent destruction in Lebanon.
This is a major victory and vindication of the action of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Raytheon Nine.

The development began to emerge yesterday when, bizarrely, the barrister for the Crown conceded that the 9 were genuine in their belief that Raytheon w…