Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, December 15th, 2013 - 175 comments
In post WWII UK, working class people were gaining a stronger voice in public life. Then came Thatcher and middle class capture of politics & the media. Something similar happened in NZ. How can those on low incomes and/or from the working classes gain a stronger voice in NZ politics?
Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, December 12th, 2013 - 94 comments
The decision announced today (but made when?) to withdraw the charges against Pike CEO Peter Whittall cannot be left to rest. When did a Judge of a New Zealand Court participate in a deal where criminal charges were dropped and money paid. It is insufficient to say the two are not connected. The money has […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, October 10th, 2013 - 7 comments
Cunliffe’s CTU speech is significant, rousing and inspiring, laying out a shift “from a cost-based to a value-based” strategy- for an inclusive society and one that provides a good life for “all” Kiwis, with opportunities for all. Video of the speech is a must see. And social security? [Update: Gordon Campbell] & Turei’s speech
Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, October 9th, 2013 - 108 comments
A recent study gives a strong indication of the extent of, and the recent increases in, insecure work in NZ. It is being released at the CTU conference today, along with the launch of a campaign to improve worker security. [Update: Cunliffe to CTU on Labour pledges]
Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, October 8th, 2013 - 76 comments
John Key’s role as Obama surrogate in chairing TPP discussions at APEC just reinforce how much Key is deeply involved in crony capitalist, Big Corporate serving networks of influence: ones that link him with anti-democratic Big Tobacco, Big Oil, and climate change denial propaganda.
Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, September 20th, 2013 - 220 comments
David Cunliffe spoke to the Left base in the Daily Blog Live interview last night: economy, tax, employment, GCSB, TPPA & more. He raises hopes for a new, post GFC social democratic vision. But he spoke to those with economic & policy knowledge. His nods towards better social security, away from bennie bashing, need fleshing out.
Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, September 6th, 2013 - 168 comments
Cunliffe & Robertson stress the need to improve employment laws, jobs, wages, the economy, workers’ rights. Cunliffe invokes Savage-like social security & the need to end the Nats beneficiary bashing. Wider community pressure is needed for there to be real political change away from the destructive neoliberal scam.
Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, August 30th, 2013 - 75 comments
TV3′s Mind the Gap documentary (Bryan Bruce) is very important because it put before the general population the damaging impact of income inequality in a clear and and straightforward manner. The solutions? Ideas from academics, journalists, campaigners & opposition politicians/parties.
Written By: - Date published: 11:33 am, July 25th, 2013 - 37 comments
It is a national evil that any class of Her Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions… where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad and the bad by the worst; …
Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, July 21st, 2013 - 7 comments
The Government has been warned that the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is likely to breach ILO conventions. Bridges has responded by saying that the breaches “may not be significant”. Why is it that the Government gets all hard core when dealing with beneficiaries legal obligations but is so casual when it deals with its own obligations?
Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, July 1st, 2013 - 10 comments
Over 30,000 aged care workers and tens of thousands of other low paid women workers are awaiting the decision of the Employment Court in relation to an Equal Pay Case heard this week. The Court was hearing a case brought by the Service and Food Workers Union, on behalf of $14.32 an hour senior caregiver […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, June 28th, 2013 - 14 comments
Four contenders with excellent track records. Some important issues for the electorate have been highlighted, especially related to poverty, jobs, education, and affordable housing. Some commentators claim tomorrow’s by-election will be a test of this or that party’s strength.[update: RNZ interviews]
Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, June 27th, 2013 - 11 comments
There’s something to be said for Fairfax and Westpac’s launch of the Women of Influence NZ awards. Many women do not receive social recognition, or a fair financial reward, for their valuable contributions to society. The Fairfax-Westpac, right-leaning, individualistic awards foreground money, profits, leadership and business.
Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, June 22nd, 2013 - 31 comments
I am reading a very interesting book on the role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy (Edited by Susan Hayter). It confirms for me the importance of getting political support to change the labour laws in New Zealand to support industry level/sector wide bargaining…
Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, June 19th, 2013 - 22 comments
The Speaker’s list of lobbyists has doubled over the last year. ”Neoliberal” & corporate entities have the balance of power. Journalists & PR merchants get more influence than the marginalised, low income & politically disengaged. Social media is a means to counter such influence. [Update: Bunji, NRT]
Written By: - Date published: 3:24 pm, June 18th, 2013 - 28 comments
The Nats’ strike breaking Bill is in trouble, with the Employers & Manufacturers Association and Peter Dunne both stating their opposition. Let’s hope it’s another win for workers and for MMP.
Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, June 14th, 2013 - 83 comments
Key’s government is continuing its attack on workers’ rights, pay, conditions & collective bargaining with Jami-Lee Ross’s ‘Strike Breaking’ Bill. Darien Fenton, the CTU & EPMU say why it is wrong. All parties and MPs should oppose this and other proposed changes to employment law.
Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, June 11th, 2013 - 70 comments
There is nothing ‘moderate’ about pushing policy that increases the power of the powerful and reduces the power of those dependent on them for a living, says the EPMU’s Rachel Mackintosh.
National’s employment changes will drive wages down and increase insecurity and poverty in this country.
Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, May 17th, 2013 - 55 comments
Air NZ has recently posted a $138 million profit. It now forecasts that it will double that profit in the next financial year, and is offering a sale of shares in the near future. So a few months after concluding a collective agreement, they’re indulging in bad faith and illegal practices. This is how you embroil yourself in keeping share prices low.
Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, April 27th, 2013 - 4 comments
Key said “we would love to see wages drop”. Sure enough National’s anti-worker employment Bill is designed to have that effect, as stated in a Cabinet briefing paper.
Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, April 26th, 2013 - 137 comments
The changes announced today to employment law represent the most serious attack on the rights of working people to a fair go since 1991. As I wrote on this blog that the Bill will reduce the Employment Relations Act to a farce and the result will be wages are driven down and employment agreements broken […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, April 18th, 2013 - 42 comments
The current direction of Key’s government, and the challenging circumstances of the 21st century create a need for urgent attention to the form of a new left politics; one that embraces the working class, trade union solidarity, gender, diversity & the emerging “precariat”.
Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, April 14th, 2013 - 84 comments
The Court Martial of Flight Lieutenant Dan Pezaro by the NZ Defence Force is making me uneasy. The internal Court of Inquiry into this accident hinted at major disfunction within the upper reaches of the Forces in terms of health and safety. On my reading of that report, the RNZAF itself could be liable in […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, April 9th, 2013 - 32 comments
Any day now the Government will announce more changes to the Employment Relations Act. These changes will drive down wages and undermine the conditions of all workers. They will also remove the small amount of protection most cleaners and hospitality workers get when the business they are working for loses a contract to another contractor. […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, April 7th, 2013 - 31 comments
The Nats’ youth rate wages (“for when the ‘minimum’ wage just isn’t low enough”) come in to effect next month. Some of the big youth employers are making their intentions known. You may wish to vote with your wallet.
Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, March 26th, 2013 - 62 comments
I am at the Governing Body meeting of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. The GB is the tripartite executive that governs the place. There are 33 union representatives on the GB and a fair few of them live in very dangerous circumstances because of their union activities in their home countries. Those we sit, eat and plan with may be arrested, jailed, tortured or killed when they get home.
Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, March 20th, 2013 - 45 comments
I “attended” a fascinating “town hall” meeting last week of artists from around the world in the Visual Special Effects sector. Ignited by the failure of the company Rhythm and Hues (despite recently completing most of the special effects for the film The Life of Pi and winning award recognition for the work), these workers […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, March 13th, 2013 - 17 comments
Forest Owners representative Sheldon Drummond suggested the union movement campaign around forestry safety was motivated by the “large un-unionised workforce” in forestry. In Sheldon’s mind this is clearly code for “bad motive”. Interviews with workers tell the story of their working lives, the long hours they are working and how safety issues are relegated when they are on the hill.. Fearing that if the article identifies them in any way there will be consequences – they are adamant that reprisal is a real risk. Sheldon sees none of this….