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No tax cuts, no pay rise! Working people pay the price

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imageWith the Government forcing a pay freeze on the public sector, minimum wage workers will likely be offered nothing when the Government reviews their pay at the end of the year. The National Party promised tax cuts and rising wages but so far has delivered less than nothing for low wage workers. Each week hundreds of workers are heading out into the street calling for wage increases that meet the rising cost of living, job security and protection from redundancy. They are being met by the neo-liberal corporate class and their lackeys in the state services that wants nothing more than to crush the unions a la 1991 and the Employment Contracts Act.

Latest news

-->On 14/09 Telecom's service provider Chorus confirmed that small groups of people were engaged in property destruction and intimidation of scabs.

-->Auckland bus drivers, already threatened with a lock out have rejected a 60cent a year offer and upped their claim from 70 cents to $1 an hour. Wearing stickers on their foreheads reading: "We deserve $20 an hour", bus drivers voted overwhelmingly against NZ Bus's offer and drivers spoke out at their stop-work that the last time they got beat by the company they lost their overtime rates.

-->Polytech staff from six institutions are set to strike and picket classrooms by the end of the week. The vote follows a proposal from their employers that would have increased teaching days by 10 percent (from 185 per year to 204), and could require all discretionary leave to be at the employers’ discretion rather than the employees’, as it is at present. It also included a one percent salary increase with no back-dating and a 24 month term from the date of signing (effectively one percent for two and half years).

-->South Auckland Bridgeman Concrete drivers have been locked out by their employer over redundancy claim and are set to picket on 16/09 against scabbing drivers.

Analysis

The Standard: Before the election we were promised significant tax cuts, “North of $50″ per week. We had John Key’s personal guarantee. Key said “New Zealanders will be able to believe our tax cuts, they will be able to trust our tax cuts…”. Did those tax cuts happen? Hell they did. National broke its promises quicker than you could say “words are cheap”*. Far from cutting taxes, National is now considering a range of new taxes including increases to GST (a disaster).

Socialist Aotearoa: 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.

Get active: Movement for a living wage | libcom.org/organise | Socialist Aotearoa

Comments

Calling Unite! members

Before reading Gerard's posting I was last night in touch and received his reassurance that beneficiaries and unemployed would not be rendered ineligible for membership by the constitutional changes if effected. I am personally reassured in that regard, though Don's opposition is not so reassuring. I am pleased also that the criticism of appointed representatives getting to vote at AGMs has been welcomed and an appropriate amendment put forward. I hope to receive an assurance that this has been put to the sessions this week.

I am yet to be convinced however that removing the categories of workers eligible for membership improves the constitution and find Dave's arguments persuasive. Does (for example) "persons supporting the aims of the Unite" include those at worksites organised by other unions and eligible to join them? To engage in competition with other unions for members would of course weaken all unions concerned which is not consistent with their aims.

So I sincerely hope this is not the underlying motivation for change.

no class war under labour?

According to the NDU chief Robert Reid, there hasn't been any class war recently. It's just been reignited. What did he call Favona Road I wonder?

"While some employer leaders preach co-operation and industrial peace, many actual employers seem over eager to reignite the "class war".

"The Bridgeman lock-out is an appalling example of an employer paying under industry rates with inferior redundancy agreements and trying to starve its workers into submission. These workers are key for Auckland infrastructure projects and start work early every day while the rest of the country is asleep. These guys are the battlers. They are the unsung heroes who help build a better life for us all. Yet they are shown no respect by an employer who will not even front up to the workers and hides behind his hired gun," says Robert Reid.

http://ndu.org.nz/employer_militancy_grows

 

 

Right on SA let's reactivate "we won't pay for their crisis"

Well its nearly a year since SA organised the meeting to form "we won't pay for their crisis". That needs to be reactivated now.

When you look at all the disputes the situation is more dire than 91 and the ECA. We're in a global crisis, and the Nacts are doing the same 'shock therapy' but super-quick, with legislation rushed under urgency to expropriate Auckland for the banksters; ETS legislation that bails out the polluters at the cost of billions to workers (see Brian Fallow NZ Herald 17 September) etc  etc. The Nacts are openly pushing the agenda of international finance capital which has NZ in its pocket.

In terms immediate impact on workers there is the general view that workers have to share the pain. In fact they are taking all the pain. And if we allow it to gone on itll become terminal.

The ECA was a defeat for unions, but the top union leadership traded off a general strike for a continued role in bargaining. The current attack goes beyond individual contracts to outright union busting, lockouts without industrial action notified (bosses know that they control the courts and the Nats can change legislation under urgency anyway) wage workers being forced to reapply for their jobs as self-employed private contractors. Farmers being enlisted at Waharoa to do the work of striking dairy workers! Shades of Massey's Cossacks!

And what's happening in NZ is only a small bit of a world wide offensive of the bosses to make the world workers pay for their crisis. And as we would expect, workers are beginning to fight back and give the bosses the shits.

(see redrave.blogspot)

So lets reactivate the united front to make them pay for their crisis!

Dave (CWG)