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 to organise the working poor. Of course, in a United Front, the different political and social organisations will maintain their individual identities and viewpoints. But the need for the Left to unite and begin organising the fightback against this rotten government and its policies takes precedence.
- Socialist Aotearoa would like to see the Campaign for a Living Wage achieve its target of 300,000 plus signatures to initiate a Citizen's Referendum to increase the minimum wage.
- We would also like to see the struggles of the busdrivers, firefighters, telecom engineers, dairy workers and others unite in one union led mass protest on the streets- joint strike action would send the National led government an even stronger message.
- The need for the Left to overthrow John Banks and the right wing Supercity agenda in Auckland is also urgent.
We would welcome debate and discussion from others on the Left and in the Trade union movements about these three theatres of class struggle.
Joe Carolan- Socialist Aotearoa