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Filipino Migrants Question ANZ Bank's Ethics


A group of Filipino workers is backing the Finsec union in its opposition to staff reductions at the ANZ bank.

Migrante Aotearoa, an Auckland based migrant Filipino worker organisation says ANZ’s treatment of its loyal workforce is deplorable but totally in line with its behaviour in the global arena.
Mr Maga says the bank is a large shareholder in the Oceana Didipio gold – copper mining project in the Phillipines which has caused widespread community displacement, human rights violations, economic dislocation, environmental devastation and social disputes in the national minority communities in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

“In New Zealand ANZ is preparing to throw hundreds of employees out of work. In the Phillipines the very same bank has investments in large scale mining that threatens poor peasants and indigenous peoples with eviction from their ancestral lands. [More]

Links: Migrante Aotearoa | Philippines Protest Against ANZ | Digging Disaster: OceanaGold’s Didipio Project

McStrikes Spread to Hamilton!


Joe talks to Unite Union organiser and Socialist Aotearoa member Kathryn Tucker from the picket lines in Waikato as the McDonald's strikes spread south.

Kathryn, could you tell us a bit about the mood of the fastfood workers in Hamilton?
They are frustrated by McD's response to their claims. McDonalds have said that they won't get back to us with an offer until sometime in November. It has been 6 months since our collective expired. The 25 cents that was offered is seen as a bit of a joke.

25 cents an hour is an insult. Are the stores in Hamilton owned by the company, or franchisees?
Company owned. Outside in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, the stores are franchisees. [More]

Harmeet Sooden Files Official Complaint Over Illegal Deportation


AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Harmeet Singh Sooden, who was held hostage in Iraq for four months in 2005-2006, has filed an official complaint to the governments of Canada and New Zealand and the United Nations for human rights violations committed against him by the Government of Israel in the course of denying him entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Mr Sooden travelled to Israel on 14 June 2008 to work as a human rights defender with International Solidarity Movement (ISM). ISM is an international human rights organisation composed of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals who monitor the human rights situation and protect human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

After declaring the purpose of his visit, Mr Sooden was assaulted and injured, threatened, held in solitary confinement, denied the right to legal counsel and consular representation as well as the right to appeal his deportation order in a court of law, and unlawfully deported on 18 June 2008—all in contravention of Israeli and international law. [More]

Are you Supporting Millionaires for Clark or Key?


Danyl Strype takes a nervous look at the past record and likely future of a parliament controlled by either National *or* Labour, and proposes a drastic rethink of what democratic governence means in practice.

Kia ora koutou

I recently got an invite to a group on FaceHook called Vote With Both Eyes Open, which focuses on reminding voters in this year's New Zealand General Election about the past crimes of the National Party? Seems to me like they've just got the Other Eye Open to the One-Eyed, Helen-hating anti-Labour cheerleaders.

If they really want people to have Both Eyes Open, they'd need to be critical of Labour as well - on point of policy and past actions, not shallow personal attacks (Helen is a bossy, nanny-statist, John is smarmy, corporate-raider etc). [More]

Dispatches from week 3 - Operation 8 depositions hearing


The last five days of the depositions hearing has been endless, mysterious, boring, interspersed with nano-seconds of excitement. Unfortunately the suppression orders still stand so I can’t tell you about the nano-statements of excitement. Possibly they only seem exciting in comparison with read-back guy, who continues to mangle Te Reo in a way I didn’t was know possible. When a friend said his favourite readback-guy mispronunciation was: why-care-moan-a, I couldn’t figure out what the original word was supposed to be (waikaremoana).

The big question people keep asking me is whether or not the crown will meet the prima facie case on all the charges, or whether some will be dropped. A couple of the lawyers are optimistic that a prima facie case won’t be met against their clients. [More]

Wellington Bus Drivers: The Fight is Still on


The Go Wellington Lockout
By Nick Kelly: Wellington Tramways Union President

As most of you know on Monday the Tramways Union (who cover the Wellington Bus drivers) and the Manufactoring and Construction Union (who represent the workshop workers) voted to reject the latest company offer. We began limited industrial action on Wednesday morning with a 1 hour strike. However before this first strike had happened the company issued and indefinate lockout notice starting 5am Thursday September 25th.

For the 1 hour strike we decided to hold a stopwork meeting at the Wellington Railway Station to discuss the lockout. Management tried to claim that the strike action we were taking was illegal. Drivers at Kilbirnie got on a couple of buses and drove to the station. The acting depot manager told me as Union President that I should tell the workers to get back to work, and that we weren't to take a bus to the rail. The workers ignored this threat and now I face some sort of retribution for disobeying "lawful instruction from my employer". The union now as a new claim that on settlement the company will drop all retribution against workers involved in the dispute. [More]

Welly Drivers Union: Dare to Struggle! Dare to Win!


Go Wellington has ended it's lockout of Wellington union bus drivers and services will begin tomorrow. However there its no end in sight in this struggle and bus drivers will need your continued support.

The end of the lockout came at the end of the first day as solidarity actions began across the North Island and transport union members in Wellington refused to cross picket lines. $200 was raised in 45 minutes for Bus Drivers on Queen Street, Auckland today. [ New Zealand transport unions back Wellington Bus Drivers | Picketline Video ]

Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O'Sullivan said, "Our members have shown they won't be bullied into backing away from their claims for a living wage for themselves and their families. These are low income workers who are not afraid to stand up for themselves and each other." [ More ]

The struggle continues, keep Infratil on the hop! Solidarity is a weapon!

Support!: Alliance Party | No Right Turn | Greens | Socialist Aotearoa | Labour Party | The Standard | CTU

300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!


Over 300 Go Wellington bus drivers and workshop workers who took industrial action to protest $12.72 poverty wages will be locked out from tomorrow unless they accept the companies offer. [ Lockout Notice and Union media release | Workers Party: Background to Wellington Bus Lockout ]

Indymedia Exclusive: The company is accusing Wellington Tramways Union President Nick Kelly of stealing a bus and taking it to a union stopwork meeting.

Manufacturing and Construction Union members have joined the fight by refusing to refuel buses.[ Dom Post Article ] Wellington WP candidate Don Franks has slammed Go Wellington for treating workers like shit. "By standing up to the boss and demanding a better income the drivers are taking a stand which will benefit the whole working class."

You can support these workers by raising money for them, and attending solidarity actions. Organise your own!

Wellington: Picket details
Auckland: Thursday collection | Protest details

Arroyo Worse than Marcos Says BAYAN USA


On the 36th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines under the US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, Filipino-Americans under BAYAN USA are vowing to support the current movement to remove the current "undeclared dictator" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from her presidential seat.

"In many ways, she is worse than Marcos," states BAYAN USA Chair Chito Quijano. "While Marcos imprisoned his opposition, Arroyo's death squads just kill them in broad daylight in front of the civilian eyes. It is still an undeclared martial law in our country."

According to the most recent reports from Philippine human rights monitoring group Karapatan, approximately 1000 extrajudicial killings of civilian dissidents have been documented as of June 2008 under the Arroyo administration, while an additional approximation of 200 abducted. [More]

Recent AIMC features on the Philippines: US Military Committing Terror in the Philippines | UN says half a million displaced in Ramadan offensive against Moro people | Auckland Philippines Solidarity launch

Forum: The Struggle in Burma


Thursday, September 25, 6-7.30pm, Lecture Theatre 018, Clock Tower Building, 22 Princes Street

Burma/Myanmar Update:
Naing Ko Ko speaks on “The Struggle for Democracy in Burma” and Steve Green speaks on “Environmental Devastation in Burma”.

Naing Ko Ko, Burmese political activist, student, and refugee in New Zealand since 2006. He was a student leader during the 1988 Burmese Democracy Uprising and a political prisoner for seven years.

Steve Green, New Zealand environmental activist, who has lived in the Thai-Burma border area since 1989, working with ethnic and indigenous minority groups such as the Karen, Mon and Shan people. His recent research has focused on proposed Hydro dam projects on the Salween River in Burma, and in China, with potentially disastrous effects in this earthquake-prone area.

Previous AIMC Burma feature: 1/10/07 Uprising Against Military Rule in Burma