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Showing posts from September, 2009

Taking On the Bosses Offensive

Across New Zealand, workers are beginning to see the effects of a crisis that they did not create.
Our busdrivers are threatened with lockout. Our firefighters who risk their lives for us have to strike for a pittance. Our Telecom engineers are forced to give up their sick pay and holidays and become private contractors at the very time we need a decent broadband system. And those who work the hardest and dirtiest jobs are paid the lowest- hundreds of thousands of workers try to make ends meet on a minimum wage of $12.50, or not much more.

In Waikato, Open Country Cheese locked out their workers for daring to think about striking, employed scabs to replace them and then had the cheek to accuse the workers of sabotage when waste was pumped into the rivers by people who didn't know how the plant worked.
In Manukau City, Bridgeman Concrete locked out their workers even though they hadn't taken any action, in order to enforce a pay freeze and break the collective agreement.

Across the…

Time for a United Front on the Left

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Our busdrivers are threatened with lockout. Our firefighters who risk their lives for us have to strike for a pittance. Our Telecom engineers are forced to give up their sick pay and holidays and become private contractors at the very time we need a decent broadband system. And those who work the hardest and dirtiest jobs are paid the lowest- hundreds of thousands of workers try to make ends meet on a minimum wage of $12.50, or not much more.


The anger is building noticably in the last few weeks, and this time, it's not just socialists or revolutionaries or the usual suspects on the Left who are talking about it. There's a real mood in Auckland city to unite these struggles, and there's a lot of people talking to each other again about making something happen.


Socialist Aotearoa activists have been out talking to people in other unions and in other parties of the Left. Initatives such as the Campaign for a Living Wage are seeing the beginnings of a United Front effort t…

Workplace Fightback: Build it from Below

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Head delegate Peter Kelly from the Telecom Engineers speaks at the Strike Benefit

The weather packed in as activists, unionists and socialists headed to a small fundraiser on a rainy Friday evening at Auckland Trades Hall. As well as netting a neat sum of cash ($450) for the Telecom workers facing redundancy and a new form of precarious employment through a dependent contractor model, the gathering also provided a forum for people to begin discussing what’s needed in order to gain or retain living wages and job security through the recession and the National government.

With bus workers overwhelmingly rejecting Infratil’s latest offer and changing into Strike gear, fire fighters prepared to confront their chiefs and John Key on picket lines and public service workers facing a round of 0% pay offers the stage is being set for a broader confrontation between employers keeping workers screwed down on poverty wages and fed-up workers prepared to try their luck with industrial action.

Apathy …

Racists go to Hell

Video of the protest outside Hell Pizza in Quay Street, Auckland, after their use of a racist advertising campaign. Omar and Joe explain why it's not a joke.

Class Cuts? Class War!

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Marching against Education cuts earlier today in Central Auckland. With thanks to John from Resistance Photography for the excellent pics

Massive Busworkers Stopwork Sends Strong Message to INfrat

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Hundreds of Busworkers walked off the job and held a massive stopwork meeting in Alexander Park today, as they tore up the pathetic offer from a bullying management in a resounding 608 to 8 vote. The combative mood was high, as this low paid and multi ethnic workforce organised by the National Distribution Union, Akarana, Tramways Union and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union combined to fight poverty pay-
Socialist Aotearoa members collected 410 signatures for the Unite Union's Campaign for a Living Wage.

What happens next remains to be seen. There is massive support amongst the Busdrivers to fight a greedy company that gets over $88 million of taxpayers money to provide a public transport service, yet uses and loses this money overseas in dodgy investments. Socialist Aotearoa says use it to pay every busworker in Auckland $20 an hour- after all, they carry the most precious cargo of all- working people and their families. And give them their time and a half over…

Firefighters Protest at opening of Mt Roskill Fire Station to go ahead

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“The protest by striking firefighters at the opening ceremony of the $4.9 millon Mt. Roskill fire station tomorrow (Friday), will go ahead”, says Jeff McCulloch, President of the Firefighters Union in Auckland.He said “We were hoping that our concerns would have been given some sort of credence by the Fire Service and the government, but that has not happened, so our protest will proceed”Jeff says “we are protesting not only in support of our contract negotiations, which have stalled, but also to bring to the attention of the Prime Minister and the wannabe Supercity Mayor John Banks, the extraordinary extravagance and inept management of the senior managers of the Fire Service who can spend $4.9 million on what is essentially a 5 bedroom house with a large garage to house 4 men, and waste $500,000 on consultants to …

Copenhagen climate summit: All targets, no action

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Market priorities look set to shape the Copenhagen climate summit if we leave it to our leaders to save the planet, writes Sadie Robinson

The countdown to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen has started. The December meeting will bring together environment ministers and world leaders to reach a new agreement to succeed the 1997 Kyoto climate change treaty.

But organisers are already laying the ground for disappointment. Helen Clark, the UN development chief, said recently, “Copenhagen has to be viewed as a very important step.

“Would it be over optimistic to say that it would be the final one? Of course. If there’s no deal as such, it won’t be a failure.”

She is wrong. The Kyoto treaty, which commits a number of countries to carbon emission cuts, expires in 2012. Meanwhile, report after report has shown that the climate is changing at a faster rate than previously expected.

We are running out of time to save the planet – and the Copenhagen summit looks set to disapp…

Video: AntiWar protest outside NZ SAS headquarters

Nicola Owen and Omar Hamed from Socialist Aotearoa join John Minto and Mike Treen from Global Peace and Justice Auckland speaking at the protest outside the NZ SAS headquarters in Papakura, as John Key sends troops into Afghanistan to support Obama's war.

Tamil people's human rights shunned by NZ cricketers

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Blackcap cricketers cowardly and duplicitous on humanitarian support

Global Peace and Justice Auckland is angry the Blackcaps cricket team has bailed out on humanitarian support for the 280,000 Tamil people incarcerated in military camps following the recent civil war.

Before the cricketers left they met with representatives of the New Zealand Tamil community, along with GPJA, where the team was requested to use its high public profile to help keep the international spotlight on the humanitarian crisis facing the Tamil population.

NZ Cricket and player reps agreed they would do what they could without getting involved in the politics (which they were never requested to do). With this in mind no protests were organised against the team leaving for Sri Lanka.

Subsequently agreement was reached between Fonterra, World Vision and representatives of the New Zealand Tamil community whereby the Blackcaps would publicly and symbolically facilitate the transfer of milk powder products from Fonterr…

Strike Benefit for Telecom Workers- Print off this Poster and Put it Up

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Click on the JPG above and print yourself off some posters to put up in your workplace, campus or community. Spread the word and bring some friends to stand in solidarity with the 800 Telecom workers facing redundancy whilst their CEO pays himself $5 million.

What's happening- Organising Meeting decisions

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Socialist Aotearoa activist meeting minutes

We started with a general discussion and review of recent actions such as the SAS demo in Papakura, the Hell Pizza picket, the really good reception to stalls on Krd for $15 an hour campaign, SA "AntiCapitalist" bulletins at the Joe Strummer gig and the Black Panthers talk.

We then looked forward to the next month or two, with the tempo being turned up by the Tories in all sorts of areas such as the night school cuts, the Telecom strike and the Supercity ripoff.

We decided the following:

REGULAR SA activists MEETINGS
We decided that every Tuesday at 7pm at Unite office, 6a Western Springs Rd there will be an SA activists meeting. These are the best way to organise, mobilise and intervene in the struggle

STRIKE BENEFIT
Tom talked about the telecom technicians strike, the upcoming strike breaking and the need for concrete solidarity with this struggle. We then decided to go with a benefit on Friday September 11 at 8pm. The Strike Benefit wi…