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Showing posts from November, 2013

Working Class Heroes of the 1913 Great Strike

Socialist Historian and Playwright Dean Parker tells Unite Union's  2013 National Conference  about some of the working class men, women and childen who lived through the revolutionary moment of 1913 in New Zealand, one hundred years to the day after they clashed with the might of the State on the streets.


Hone Harawira Urges Workers to Fight Back

The Mana Movement MP speaks to the Unite Union 2013 National Conference.

Raising the Retirement Age?

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There are now more people retiring than ever and less people working, so there are not enough people to pay taxes to cover the cost of the retirement pension. We are all living longer say the politicians... Yeah right... Who's living longer? The politicians? The capitalists? The lawyers? The lazy bastards who sit on their arses and do nothing are living longer; the people who have the money to pay for expensive surgery or drugs to keep them alive; those who are educated about healthy eating and lifestyle; those who have the time to swan about in saunas and gyms and health spas may be living longer.

If you look at life expectancy for various groups, in particular manual workers, Pacific Island workers, Maori workers, you will find that even though these people pay most of the taxes in this country, they seldom live long enough to collect the pension. Meanwhile their peers in the middle to upper class, mainly salaried professionals, or the real bludgers – politicians and wealthy pe…

A Century of Resistance- Auckland Wharfie speaks

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“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction”.  Eric Fromm.


Modern society is plagued with workplace pressures unseen for many a year. The craving of wealth by the few at the expense of many comes at a huge cost to the average family. Capitalist greed and the inbred need to have a class system is out of control but consistently gets fed by legislation with laws that introduce work climates unseen since the early nineteen hundreds.

 The average worker in this country should be paid a living wage but instead is working in excess of 60 hours a week simply to make ends meet because they are on minimum wage with no additional payments for extra effort. The ability to run a household on such an income is next to impossible because the cost of living out strips the money coming in. Wouldn’t it be an eye-opener to put our politicians on minimum wage just to see how quickly things would change?

 Rights at work…

Why John Key should not go to Sri Lanka

Roastbusters - The creation of a sexist society

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Many people have been rightly horrified by the news that has come out in the past week of young girls being raped and the failure by authorities to act to prevent further harm. Particularly disgusting has been the police response, beginning by blaming survivors for not coming forward, then, under pressure, finally revealing that they had received complaints two years ago, but still had not laid charges.

It is both right and heartening that people are appalled, but we should not be taken in by the fake outrage of those in power. This National government has made huge cuts to services for survivors of rape including making it harder to access counselling from ACC, failing to properly implement the recommendations of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence, and refusing to ensure that rape prevention and rape crisis services receive sufficient funding. The government has also failed to fix the problems with sexuality education in our schools identified in a 2007 report by the Edu…

Generation of Anger - Looking for answers and change

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In this talk given at Socialism 2013, Bevan M. discusses the global 'Generation of Anger', the challenges it faces and the possibilities of the moment in which it comes to age.
I have been asked to talk to you guys about the international rise of a generation in anger. For those of you who I haven’t met I’ll just give you a bit of background about who I am. It’s not impressive or anything like that – I just give it to give you some context, so you see where I am coming from, and why I hold my opinions. My name is Bevan, I’m from Auckland but for the past few years I have been living overseas – I lived in New York for a year starting in September 2008 right as Lehman Brothers were just starting to tip the first dominos of what would be become the recession that we are all still feeling and paying for. During this time I also saw the rise of optimism surrounding Obama that while unfulfilled in many ways, was an incredible grass root movement that turned the American electora…

Protest Saturday

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McStrike - A Delegate's Tale

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Taylor M. is a seventeen year old west Auckland McDonald's worker, Unite Union delegate and Socialist Aotearoa member. This is her account of the McStrike campaign.

On April 29th, negotiations between Unite Union and McDonald’s broke down over the renewal of our existing collective agreement. A collective agreement is the agreement workers are moved onto after joining the union, which takes them off their individual contracts. Unlike the original contract you’re given when you start working at McDonalds, this agreement allows for negotiation and improvements in future as the union takes into account worker’s requests and complaints when redrafting the agreement for the following year and adding their voices in.

This year, additions put forward by Unite Union to be added into the agreement included security of hours, rostered breaks at reasonable intervals, a decent pay of $15 an hour minimum wage, overtime pay after 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, a free meal on any given 30 mi…

Speeches from the Socialism 2013 Conference

Lisa Gibson, SA and Chair of Mana Tamaki Rohe 


John Minto, Mana Mayoral Candidate for Auckland 

Shane Timmermanns, SA and Mana on Campus at Auckland University 


 Mike Treen on the Socialist Action League in the 1970s and 80s. 



Joe Carolan, on 5 years of Socialist Aotearoa.

Red Feds and the Great Strike of 1913

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Exactly 100 years ago New Zealand was experiencing its largest ever industrial dispute.
The Great Strike of 1913. In the end the 16,000 strikers and their United Federation of Labour were defeated, the employers, the reform government and their fascist "specials" (volunteer special constables) known as “Masseys Cossaks” had won. But that is not the full story - the class consciousness and confidence which made the Great Strike possible were earned and honed through the unifying organisation of the Federation of Labour known as the "Red Feds" in the years 1908 to 1913. This new mood was to have a profound effect for years to come."

Lessons of 1890
To understand the great strike we first have to look at the defeat suffered by the workers in Maritime Strike of 1890 and its aftermath. That defeat had convinced many in the union movement that strikes don’t work, political power and arbitration are the only weapons workers can use, and the only goals we can hope for …