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Showing posts from August, 2010

Wellington-Picket of Mana Coach Services Drivers 31.8.2010

The Wellington Tramways union as part of on-going industrial action at Mana Coach services will be holding a picket at the Paraparaumu Railway Station at Midday Tuesday August 31st.

Negotiations for a Collective at Mana have stalled due to the intransigence of Mana management who are unwilling to make the most basic concessions to reach an agreement. The issues are drivers having certainty over their hours of work, and the payment of overtime rates for working a 6th day – clauses that already exist in the collective agreements of recently settled NZ Bus collective agreements.

The picket is also likely to move to across the road to National MP Nathan Guy's electorate office, as government proposed amendments to the Employment Relations and Holidays Act's will make life even harder for drivers, particularly drivers at Mana.

The Tramways union encourages members of the public to come down and give their support and solidarity to Mana bus drivers.

Time changed for action at Burger Fuel

Joanne Bartlett was fired on day 89 of her 90 day trial period at Mission Bay Burger Fuel. She was fired just after asking for more than one 10 minute break during her eight hour shift. Joanne received high grades in the company's training program, has culinary school qualifications and regularly worked extra shifts when asked. No reason was given for her
dismissal.

Activists picketed her store last Friday. During the picket company chief executive Josef Roberts told TV3 that Burger Fuel franchises would use the 90 day bill again in the future. When the cameras stopped rolling, Roberts pleaded with the picketers to stop as the store had lost their entire lunch trade which would significantly impact on their tight margins.

This CEO told Unite that he would make an agreement with them if they stopped taking action...Burger fuel has since reneged on its agreement.

It's time to send Burger Fuel a clear message. We need to picket as many stores as we can on the same day at the same tim…

Solidarity (Australia)- Labour Slumps but no mandate for Abbott

Labor slumps but there’s no mandate for Abbott 24 August 2010 As she lost the seat of Bennelong, Maxine McKew summed up Labor’s crisis: compared to 2007, she said, Labor stood for nothing.Kevin Rudd was removed as Labor’s poll rating crashed. But Julia Gillard dragged Labor even further to the right – capitulating to the mining bosses and lowering company tax, delaying action on climate change, and, most shamefully, competing with Abbott about which party would more effectively stop the asylum boats. It will take a deliberate effort to undo the damage done by Liberal and Labor’s race to the bottom.While Abbott tried to cover up the worst elements of Liberal policy, nobody believes that WorkChoices is “dead, buried and cremated.” Abbott’s rise and the extra Liberal seats in parliament have increased the confidence of the right wing.However, there were two bright spots to an otherwise disastrous federal election. One is the end of Wilson Tuckey, the racist Western Australian National Part…

Australian Socialist Alliance-‘Greenslide’ a shift to left

‘Greenslide’ a shift to left — neither major party wins majority mandateTuesday, August 24, 2010By Peter Boyle

By denying both the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the the Liberal-National coalition an outright majority in primary votes and in House of Representatives seats, Australian electors voted “neither of the above” for the traditional parties of government.This followed an election campaign in which the major parties conducted an ugly race to the right, most notoriously by scapegoating the few thousand desperate refugees who attempt to get to Australia on boats.The effect of this race to the right was to promote racism, further breakdown community solidarity, and a bolster a range of other conservative prejudices on issues ranging from climate change to the economy to same-sex marriage rights. Important issues like Indigenous rights and Australia's participation in the imperialist war of occupation in Afghanistan were totally screened out.However, there was also a reaction …

Fightback Rally- workers and unions speak out

Fight Back Rally Auckland University 28 JUL 2010 from Billy Hania on Vimeo.
Karl Andersen from the NDU, bullied workers from Risotech Foods, Sue Bradford, Matt McCarten from Unite and Bill Newsum from the EPMU speak out at Unite on Campus's Fightback Rally. Video HERE

Australian Socialist Alternative-"Labor's Right-Wing Policies Opened the Door for Abbott"

"Labor's Right-Wing Policies Opened the Door for Abbott"
http://www.sa.org.au/australian-politics/2874-editorial

Labor's right-wing policies opened the door for Abbott .
Mick Armstrong 22 August 2010

It has to be said bluntly and clearly that the key reason that Labor
has done so badly in these elections and that the reactionary
ideologue Tony Abbott stands every chance of becoming Prime Minister
is because Labor’s appalling right-wing policies offered nothing to
its working-class supporters.

The media have talked interminably about the Rudd factor and racist
rednecks in Queensland and Sydney’s western suburbs being to blame.
But that is all rubbish.

Labor swept into power in 2007 on the back of a concerted trade union
campaign against Howard’s hated WorkChoices laws. After eleven years
of Howard’s assault on working-class living standards and trade union
organisation, eleven years of warmongering and racist scapegoating,
millions of workers were hoping from some reli…

UTU- tactics for the movement

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UTU Fight back rally at University of Auckland Campus- Socialist Aotearoa's Joe C speaks on tactics for the movement against the National Party's Bill
video HERE

Tramways workers win 11.5% pay increase at NZ Bus, but vow to fight on at Mana

Tramways Union accepts 11.5% pay increase from NZ Bus, Mana Coach Services Face further industrial action.


The Wellington Branch of the Tramways union voted to accept the NZ Bus Pay offer of 11.5% at a stopwork meeting of bus drivers yesterday. Mana Coach Services still haven't improved their offer to drivers and face industrial action by the Tramways Union unless this changes.
At a stop work meeting of Go Wellington and Valley Flyer drivers on Thursday, drivers voted to accept the pay offer from NZ Bus. For Go Wellington this was an increase of 11.5% on all printed rates, and at Valley Flyer an increase of 11% and gaining a number of conditions from the Go Wellington Collective Agreement such as time and a half for weekend work.


In 2008 Go Wellington had a day long lockout during contract negotiations and in 2009 Auckland Tramways members were locked out for a week by NZ Bus.


“We have seen a significant improvement in the way NZ Bus management negotiated with our union during these n…

Wellington Stands for Union Rights

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Walking into Civic Square, the sea of different banners and flags were an inspiring picture of our diversity, and our unity. Everyone was there: Maori, Pakeha, Pacific Islander and Asian workers, men and women, nurses with the NZNO, banking workers with FINSEC, Unite’s crew of striking JB Hi Fi workers, teachers from the NZEI and PPTA, Service and Food Workers, public servants with the PSA, tertiary sector unionists, maritime workers, and many others more. We were all united against the 90 Day Bill and its attack on our rights and, in our numbers, we showed the power of the union movement and the face of the modern working class.

Today’s rally was a good first step. We mobilized in impressive numbers, and the crowd responded well to calls for more action and determination. That many hundreds came to Civic Square showed again that, when unions issue a call to mobilize, there’s a response.

So we should take inspiration from a day of unity and action.

But today also showed the challenges fa…

Anticapitalist 21 August - Fight for your rights

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Download the latest Anti-capitalist here. Articles on the workplace fightback, climate chaos, Greece and Afghanistan.

UTU squad hits Mission Bay Burger Fuel

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from 3 News website- view HEREPhotos by John Darroch- view HERE NZ Herald article HERE

By Melissa Davies
The fat was in the fire when trade unionists turned up at an Auckland Burger Fuel outlet to support a sacked employee.
Joanne Bartlett was fired on the 89th day of her 90-day probationary period.
“They said they just didn't consider me to be someone who would be in the fast food industry for a long time,” says Bartlett.
Her former boss says she never said that.
“I didn't have to give her a reason and I'm not going to discuss that now,” Linda Garibobic, Burger Fuel Franchisee told 3 News.
But union members did want to discuss it and turned up outside the Mission Bay store.
Burger Fuel's Chief Executive, Joseph Roberts, was there to meet them.
“The first thing is .we employ hundreds of people through the burger fuel system - 700 or so, alright,” Mr Roberts told picketers. “It is our right as an employer to trial people, to test people.”
Bartlett says she may've been fired be…

"Utu Squad" Names And Shames Burger Fuel For 89th Day Sacking

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–Unite takes up John Key’s challenge to name and shame bad employers.

Recently the Prime Minister requested unions to directly name and shame bad employers who act badly against their employees. Unite and the rest of the trade union movement is taking up the challenge. A special direct action group called the UTU Squad is picketing the Mission Bay Burger Fuel store on Friday from 12-2pm to protest the sacking of a worker on the 89th day of her employment.

Joanne Bartlett’s dismissal came a few days after she had asked for more than a single 10 minute lunch break each day she had been receiving for an 8 hour shift. Ms Bartlett had consistently received the highest grades inBurger Fuel’s training programme and had culinary school qualifications. She had also worked extra shifts when requested. No reason was given for the dismissal.

The UTU Squad has been formed by Unite because they believe justice for workers needs a group willing to take direct action against bad employers to uphold w…

Florence Coen- dismissed without reason on her 85th day.

Florence Coen tells the CTU's Helen Kelly the story of how she was unfairly dismissed under John Key's new 90 day law.

www.fairness.org.nz

RALLY 21 & 22 August
Auckland * Wellington * Christchurch * Dunedin

Auckland
1pm, Saturday 21st August
QE2 Square (bottom of Queen St, opposite Britomart)

Wellington
1pm, Saturday 21st August
Civic Square

Christchurch
1pm, Saturday 21st August
Cathedral Square

Dunedin
11am, Sunday 22nd August
Assemble at Dental School, Great King Street
March to rally at the Octagon

BP: Dossier on an Eco-Catastophe

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The Deepwater Horizon spill, and the environmental disaster unfolding as a result of it, symbolizes the moral and ecological bankruptcy of capitalism. It’s all there: corporate power, state collusion in ensuring profits at whatever cost, a planet under threat, ordinary people losing their lives and livelihoods at the dictates of our rulers’ need for profit and power.

Here’s a dossier of articles from ‘unembedded’ journalists, activists and scholars analyzing the disaster, and drawing conclusions for activists.

Rebecca Solnit in the London Review of Books provides eyewitness reportage from the Gulf region, and dissects the connections between Big Oil, the area’s history, race, class, ecology,
and oppression.

Dahr Jamail has a damning account of current efforts to minimize the scale of the damage, and to make it “out of sight, out of mind”, while this speech from veteran radical journalist Jeffrey St Clair outlines the connections and collusion between corporate criminality and the state.

De…

FREE GAZA- Seeking support for ISM volunteer

Commentary- Janfrie Wakim on behalf of PHRC

In May 2010, nine aid workers were shot dead by Israeli commandos when a humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza was intercepted in international waters by the Israeli Navy which is charged with enforcing the illegal and inhumane Siege of the Gaza Strip. Another flotilla, dubbed Freedom Flotilla Two, is to set sail in October 2010. Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand (PHRC) is raising money to enable a New Zealander to join the upcoming flotilla in the hope of breaking the Siege. If successful, the volunteer will stay on in the Gaza Strip to work for International Solidarity Movement (ISM), www.palsolidarity.org.

ISM supports the non-violent movement resisting Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian land, which includes documenting and publicising human rights violations. The Palestinian-led organisation came to international prominence in 2003 when ISM volunteers Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall were killed by Israeli forc…

Rally for your rights next Saturday!

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-Somi Yun, Socialist Aotearoa Wellington

From making it easier for our bosses to fire us to making sick days that bit harder to have, it’s clear that National’s attacks on our rights at work pose a huge threat. But they also present us with an opportunity. The huge march in Auckland in May against mining in conservation land forced a back down, and showed that the Nats, whatever their popularity in the polls, are not unstoppable. A mass campaign against this new bill can make workers’ rights a political issue again, and could rally opposition to all the government’s attacks.Unions are the largest group of voluntary organizations in the country: even after all the attacks of the last decades they’re still a mass force, and one to be reckoned with. And it is workers, when we’re organised and when we fight, who can stop attacks on our rights. We can hit the bosses where it hurts, in their profits.
That’s why the rallies the CTU have called next week are so important, and why we all need to…

1 in 5 workers fired under the 90 Day Fire at Will law.

The CTU's Helen Kelly talks to Heather Smith, one of the many workers fired under the 90 Days Fire at Will law. TVNZ news story HERE

Rock Enrol-Dunedin Socialists on elections and movements.

A sppech given by the ISO's Andrew Tait to Rock Enrol meeting
Ki te whare e tu nei, tena koeKi te marae takoto nei, tena koeKi te tangata whenua, Kai Tahu, tena koutouKi te tangata nei inaianei, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoaThank you for the invititation to speak here tonight on behalf of the International Socialists, to Jess and Olive and Sam and his team and everyone else who has helped organise this night – and to you all for coming out to Rock Enrol.Who are we?We are socialists – we stand for the rights of working people, students and the oppressed. We have been active in this city for 17 years – supporting strikes, campaigning for a living wage, fighting fees, and opposing racism, sexism and homophobia. We are internationalist. Many times we have organised demos that give Dunedin people a chance to speak out against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and modern-day apartheid in Israel/Palestine.But we aren't just a protest organisation. We aim to represen…

All power to the pre-schools!

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The Nats are rats. They keep wages low, raise GST, cut our social welfare, squeeze our health and education systems. They won't give compensation to the victims of police sex abuse, they won't sort out our polluted rivers or runaway climate change, and they attack our work rights.

Yet one attack stands out as one of their most despicable acts of pro-corporate, anti-working class wrecking - slashing funding for trained teachers early childhood centres.

According to the NZEI union, "The cuts will affect 93,000 children enrolled in 2000 early childhood services".

Early childcare centres will be forced to either raise fees or cut the number of trained teachers. It's about cutting public services so John Key can give his rich mates and the big corporates a tax cut.

These attacks will hurt the children of the working poor the most, the nearly 1 in 4 children growing up under the poverty line. It is essential we stand in solidarity with parents, educators and children fight…

Kia Ora Gaza - Donate now and help break the siege of Gaza

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Support the Kiwi contingent trying to break the siege of Gaza, donate here.

"Gaza’s 1.5 million people are imprisoned by the state of Israel in a giant concentration camp. The Israeli military enforces a blockade of essential supplies. There is terrible suffering, especially among the children. The citizens of Gaza face collective punishment, which is illegal under international law. On 31 May 2010, a Gaza aid flotilla was hijacked on the open sea by Israel’s military. Nine civilian aid workers were shot to death. To break the siege of Gaza, on 12th September mass aid convoys will set off from London by sea and land. We want to see Kiwi volunteers and aid go with them. Kia Ora Gaza is raising funds to make this possible."

Wellington forum - BP: Capitalism killing the planet

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TimeThursday 12 August · 18:00 - 20:00 Location Meeting Room 2, Student Union Building, Victoria University
How long will it take for an ecosystem this ravaged to be "restored and made whole" as Obama's interior secretary has pledged to do?
...
We do know this. Far from being "made whole," the Gulf coast, more than likely, will be diminished. Its rich waters and crowded skies will be less alive than they are today. The physical space many communities occupy on the map will also shrink, thanks to erosion. And the coast's legendary culture will contract and wither. The fishing families up and down the coast do not just gather food, after all. They hold up an intricate network that includes family tradition, cuisine, music, art and endangered languages – much like the roots of grass holding up the land in the marsh. Without fishing, these unique cultures lose their root system, the very ground on which they stand.

Read more:Gulf oil spill: A hole in the…

"We want freedom" - Chinese workers' uprising

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And the most inspiring good news story of the year is...
Johann Hari for the Independent

At first, this isn't going to sound like a good news story, never mind one of the most inspiring stories in the world today. But trust me: it is. Yan Li spent his life tweaking tiny bolts, on a production line, for the gadgets that make our lives zing and bling. He might have pushed a crucial component of the laptop I am writing this article on, or the mobile phone that will interrupt your reading of it. He was a typical 27-year old worker at the gigantic Foxconn factory in Shenzen, Southern China, which manufactures i-Pads and Playstations and mobile phone batteries. Li was known to the company by his ID number: F3839667. He stood at a whirring line all day, every day, making the same tiny mechanical motion with his wrist, for 20 pence an hour. According to his family, sometimes his shifts lasted for 24 hours; sometimes they stretched to 35. If he had tried to form a free trade un…