Monday, July 29, 2013

Union rallies against the Nats


Spearheaded by the EPMU the trade union movement is coming together for three big rallies at the end of August in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch against the National government's attacks on workers' rights.

All socialists should be working to get the maximum turn out to these rallies from their fellow union members. Massive turnouts around the country will give the trade union movement the confidence to take the fight to those employers who will seek to use the laws to cut workers' rights such as the Ports of Auckland.

These stop work meetings will complement the round of protest meetings the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation is holding up and down the country and will draw in thousands of workers into the fight against the Nats.

For many young workers this will be their first experience of working-class, political action and its important we all work to make it as big and militant as possible.

The new law changes will mean:
Employers won't have to negotiate a collective agreementIt'll be harder to negotiate a pay rise when your employer can refuse to deal with the union 
New workers can be paid less Your employer will be able to take on new workers at a rate lower than the collective agreement  
Employers can opt out of industry pay agreements Your employer will be able to refuse to be part of an industry pay agreement, or MECA. Bad employers will be able to reduce wages to undercut their competitors, creating a race to the bottom across the industry. 
Vulnerable workers will lose protections Many vulnerable workers like cleaners will lose employment protections when their employer loses a contract. That means they could lose their job or have their wages cut every time a cleaning contract changes.  
You'll lose your right to a meal or rest break Your employer will be able to deny you meal and rest breaks if they decide a break would get in the way of work.  
Your employer can dock your pay for partial strike action Your employer will be able to dock your pay with a 10% 'strike tax' if you discontinue part of your work, for example with a paperwork ban.  
More restrictions on the right to strike There'll be stricter rules around giving written notice for strikes. Employers will be able to kill time and drain union funds by challenging strikes on technicalities.
The Auckland rally is on Wednesday 28 August between 1pm and 2pm at Telstra Events Centre.

-Socialist Aotearoa

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