John Key’s expected to announce drastic attacks on workers’ rights in his speech to the National Party conference in Auckland this weekend, and activists from all over the Left will be there to make it clear that attacks on working Kiwis will not be tolerated.
These latest attacks on wage and salary earners come, not surprisingly, as National’s financial backers are withholding their funding unless Key delivers faster and deeper cuts to our rights and protections.
As a result Key is expected to announce plans to give every employer in New Zealand the power to sack their workers for any reason, or no reason at all, within the first 90 days of a new job. This means every Kiwi starting a new job would face the risk of being fired, on the spot, with no fair process and no right of appeal. It is a policy that entrenches unfairness at the heart of our employment law.
He also wants to deny workers the right to see their union representative on the job. Under Key’s plan employers will have more power to refuse union organisers entry to the workplace. In reality this also means hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will lose the ability to join a union in the first place, as unions will be unable to go onsite and recruit new members. You can see what the end goal here is, and why National’s business backers might be demanding this change.
The Nats also plan to slash union education for workers (don’t want workers going and learning about their employment rights) and make cuts to our holiday entitlements.
The effect of all this, as we know from the experience of the 1990s, will be to reduce our wages and conditions and leave New Zealand falling even further behind Australia. There is no moral or economic justification for these changes, they haven’t even updated their spin. This is just good old fashioned class war from a party that exists to enrich the business elite at the expense of ordinary wage and salary earners.
You can stand up and fight back against this madness by joining the protest at 10am on Sunday at Sky City Hotel in Auckland (Main entrance, 72 Victoria Street West, Auckland City). Key’s speech is at 11am and the idea is to make as much noise as possible, so bring your pots, your pans and your vuvezelas.
UPDATE: Facebook group here.