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Fairness at Work rallies 21 & 22 August

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, August 9th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Unions are getting together to oppose the government’s changes to employment law with rallies in the four main centres. The pitch is about fairness and respect rather than buying into the far left’s war on the government. Thank goodness, is all I can say, given that John Key is still monumentally popular; a little education and messaging is in order before the revolution.

Auckland – Saturday 21 August
QE2 Square, 1pm
Bottom of Queen St, opposite Britomart

Wellington – Saturday 21 August
CIvic Square, 1pm

Christchurch – Saturday 21 August
Cathedral Square, 1pm

Dunedin – Sunday 22 August
Dental School, 11am

31 comments on “Fairness at Work rallies 21 & 22 August ”

  1. Bill 1

    “The pitch is about fairness and respect rather than buying into the far left’s war on the government.”

    And so it begins. See those little cracks appearing that are coalition splits in the making?

    What is it with the left that it is mired in this ‘either/or’ mentality; that it cannot get it’s head around the concept of ‘this and‘.

    Good to see a Party Line. A slogan. A banner. Great.

    • McFlock 1.1

      agreed.

      It seems as if the left in NZ notice that the RWNJ are incompetent and can’t hide their insanity from the voters by themselves, so someone on the “left” (shoot, thirty years ago most of us would have been regarded as “filthy tories”) politely starts internecine warfare to help them out.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    I understand that moves are under way to bus in supporters from outlying cities. If you live in the provinces it would be worth checking the facebook site (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fairness-at-Work/113487335368284).

    • Jenny 2.1

      VOR, are you able to provide details on the buses. ie. Where people can catch them, what times, who to contact, etc.

      capcha – knowledges

      • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1

        I’ll see what I can find out, Jenny. My understanding is that they will leave from the Union offices in the regional centres such as Hamilton and Palmy and pick up people in the smaller towns on the way. I guess the best bet for provincial unionists would be to ring their own union and see what is proposed for their area, but I’ll see if can find out more.

  3. Jenny 3

    The best way to see that these rallies are a big success is to make sure that they are flooded with thousands of reasonable working people from middle New Zealand. Hopefully there should also be a massive turn out from Labour party supporters rallied by their LECs. with lots of banners and flags to visibly put their stamp on the rallies.

    It would also would be great if sitting Labour MPs were able to address the rallies with messages of support.

    Of course if Labour Leader Phil Goff was to address the unionists and assure them that a Labour Government will repeal all of this retrograde anti union legislation, this would be the cherry on the cake.

    Will it happen like this?

    I hope so, but so far, I haven’t a clue.

    Does anyone out there, know what Labour is planning to do in support of these rallies?

    • Bill 3.1

      “there should also be a massive turn out from Labour party supporters rallied by their LECs. with lots of banners and flags to visibly put their stamp on the rallies.

      Gary Glitter wannit – “You wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang?
      You wanna be in my gang? Oh, yeah!”

      Oh wait, I know. Why not have all the gangs squaring up..the Labour Party, the Trots and all the other showers…and they can stamp ten shades of shit out of one another over whose stamps and lines are to be the biggest, bestest, rally stamps and lines that everyone, regardless of the aggregate rich diversity of the thoughts present, should accept and adopt in order to preserve the integrity of the herd?

      (hint) the org with the most money and resources will prevail.

      Care to remember and connect the dots over the left’s attitudes to electoral finance and the undemocratic outcomes that flow from campaigns or messages being propagated by means of naked, ‘money talks’, market competition? Thought not.

      Anyway, when they’ve nutted it all out they (you?) will still utterly fail to understand that reasonable people do not want to be reduced to mere addenda promoting a fucking brand…no matter the brand… and as such will be staying away in their droves.

      • Jenny 3.1.1

        You hope.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          What you mean “You hope”? Did you even read my comment with any attempt at understanding?

          I don’t know your financial and material position in the scheme of things Jenny, but I’m one of the people who is going to completely fucked over by the bullshit this government is rolling out.

          But as much as the actions of this government hack me off, what really fucks me off no end is a left that is utterly inept and that is apparently incapable of grasping some really quite simple and basic concepts that are necessary to grasp if we are planning to offer ourselves a viable and persistent alternative to the endless cycle of neo liberal shit, now with the edges sharpened, now with the edges blunted, that has been our lot for the past 30 years.

  4. fatty 4

    “The pitch is about fairness and respect rather than buying into the far left’s war on the government. Thank goodness, is all I can say, given that John Key is still monumentally popular; a little education and messaging is in order before the revolution.”

    Problem is that fairness and respect is what the far (true) left are demanding.
    Even if Goff laid his balls on the table it would just be Nat-lite, and a slight adjustment.

    I can see your point, that anger will not come across well and will gain nothing in the polls…..but I am Labour’s demographic, and I haven’t considered voting for them in years.

    So is this going to bring down Keys popularity?
    Education and messaging are not needed for the huge amount of workers on minimum wage, those on McContracts, or those job searching. Plus all those families and friends directly effected by these employment measures.

    The ball is in Goff’s court again…..I’ve never seen him hit a winner.

    • Jenny 4.1

      .
      I hope I am wrong, and that someone can show me that I am, but Phill Goff just like with the increase in GST, has, not promised to repeal the 90 day law, or return worksite access to unions, or protect the four weeks holidays.

      In refusing to promise to rewind the GST increase Goff used the excuse that circumstances may have changed by so much by the time Labour gets back in, that the government could not afford it, and so Labour could not bind it self with such a promise.

      I wonder what Phil’s excuse is, for not promising to repeal these attacks on workers rights?

      Will he be relying on the Nats argument that more rights for workers costs jobs, or some other reasoning?

      Or will he and Labour just try and keep their heads down, hoping it will all blow over?

      In my opinion Tammy’s fear of the far left going to extremes is made more likely if Goff and Labour do nothing.

      If electoral alternatives are removed, what choice is there?

      At the first union rally outside the National Party conference at the Sky Tower, the head of the Dairy Workers Union. referring to the 90 day bill said, if you remove natural justice, and due process then his union will consider taking illegal industrial action.

      Far left?

      Probably.

      But what choice does he, and his members have?

      • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1

        Jenny, if you want to hear what Phil Goff is thinking on a regular basis, join the Labour Party. You’ll get heaps of emails, invites to party functions and regular opportunities to put your money where your mouth is. Wouldn’t it be great to turn your obvious concern into real action?

        Alternatively, you could try google. “Phil Goff”‘+ “90 days” will bring you this article (Labour to Axe any Changes to 90-day Trial) for a start:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10659174

        Then there is Red Alert and labour.org.nz if you want more info from the source.

        • Jenny 4.1.1.1

          Thanks for that VOR. You are right I am not a member of the Labour Party, so probably along with the vast majority of New Zealanders, I was unaware of this.

          Of course if I joined the Labour Party I, as one person would be more informed, of course.

          However Labour need to get their message out to the vast majority if they are to get any cut through.

          I just hope that the thousands of Labour Party members are visibly present supporting the rallies on the 21 & 22 and that MPs and even Labour leader Phil Goff can mount the rostrum in the full glare of the TV cameras and media to announce that Labour will repeal all this retrograde industrial law, no ifs, buts or maybes.

          I couldn’t think of a better chance for Labour to get their message out there.

          capcha – pay

          • Jenny 4.1.1.1.1

            Language is a strange thing.

            Innitially I was very pleased to hear this news from VOR.

            But on closer reading of the Herald article supplied by VOR entitled;

            Labour to axe any changes to 90-day trial

            This un-authored report cited to the NZPA raises more questions than answers.

            First of all there is no accreditation, or citation or even a quote from anyone in the Labour Party to back up the claim made in this article that Labour will repeal any moves “to widen the 90-day trial scheme”.

            Second as the headline suggests and as Labour seems to be saying in this report “it will repeal any moves to widen the 90-day trial scheme”.

            Does this mean that Labour will allow the 90 day bill to remain in place for workers employed in smaller enterprises?

            Also this article says nothing about returning workplace access to union officials.

            Neither does it say anything about the protection of the 4 month holiday.

            VOR tells us such assurances have been made in “heaps” of Labour Party internal emails.

            Then isn’t it about time these statements were made public?

            capcha -employee

            • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1.1.1

              “VOR tells us such assurances have been made in “heaps’ of Labour Party internal emails.”

              No, I didn’t say any such thing, Jenny. I said if you joined Labour you’d get heaps of emails. I didn’t say what their content would be. If you want to know what’s in them, click on this link:

              http://splash.labour.org.nz/

              There is an email sign up form on the right hand side. Just below the links to Phil’s facebook and twitter sign ups, as it happens. The ‘join’ option is handily placed as well.

              • Jenny

                .
                Thank you VOR for replying.
                I am sorry for presuming that the Labour Party emails you referred me to, may have had some information on the matter in question. This was a genuine misunderstanding from myself. And I apologise.

                I was asking if any one could show where Phil Goff had promised that Labour will repeal these laws.

                You provided a link to an NZPA article without citation, that said that Labour will repeal any “widening” of the 90 day bill to all work sites not just small business.

                When I pointed out that this is far from repealing this law, and that this link also made no mention of repealing National’s removal of union access, or protecting the 4 weeks holiday.

                You said I should join the Labour Party where I would receive “heaps” of emails. Stupidly I imagined that they might have the answer to my original question.

                I hope I am wrong, and that someone can show me that I am, but Phill Goff just like with the increase in GST, has, not promised to repeal the 90 day law, or return worksite access to unions, or protect the four weeks holidays.

                I take it from your reply that Labour is not promising to overturn these laws, either in private, or public.

                Which was my original question.

                Though time is growing short, I still hope that Labour Party MPs will speak at the Fairness at Work rallies and be allowed to say, that on being elected a Labour Government will repeal these laws.

                Obviously if Labour MPs are not allowed to say this on the day, then they will have very little reason for getting up to say anything.

                If no Labour Party MP is able to get up to address these rallies. This will be a message from the Labour Party to working people and their unions, that they are alone in this fight.

                To my mind this will be a terrible lost opportunity for the Labour Party to get working people’s attention and support.

                capcha – unless
                .

                • Rosy

                  Carmel Sepuloni’s bill was designed to remove the 90-day fire at will clause
                  and was pulled from the ballot before the extension of the scheme was announced
                  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1008/S00030/members-bill-tackles-attack-on-workers-rights.htm

                  and
                  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1007/S00250.htm

                  “Labour would repeal the 90- Day Fire at Will legislation and return current access provisions for unions. Governments should create jobs, not undermine the rights of individuals in the workplace, “Trevor Mallard said.

                  • Jenny

                    Thank you Rosy.

                    PS.

                    I think that Trevor would be the perfect Labour Party MP to address the Fairness at Work rallies. Maybe he could encourage Phil Goff to join him.

                    After all as John Lennon said:

                    A working class hero is something to be.

                    capcha – parallel (side by side?)

                    Are you doing this on purpose Lynne?

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Cheers, Jenny. What I’m suggesting is that, given your level of interest, you get involved directly by joining the party. I’ve also provided links to how you can get emails about issues like the ERA changes from Labour if you don’t want to make that commitment.

                  I’ve done those things because I live in hope that your regular ‘what’s labour doing?’ questions are genuine and not a rhetorical wind up. This isn’t actually a labour party blog anyway, so maybe red alert is the better place to put those questions. Actually, there’s one more thing I can offer. The Goffster’s email address.

                  [email protected].

                  Flick him a message. Ask him about his position on the changes and whether he’ll be at the rallies and let us know what he says.

                  • Jenny

                    VOR:

                    Actually, there’s one more thing I can offer. The Goffster’s email address.
                    Flick him a message. Ask him about his position on the changes and whether he’ll be at the rallies and let us know what he says.

                    I will do this V.

                    But rather than ask him if he will be at the rally, because I have never doubted that he would be there for the photo opportunity to smile and wave at the cameras.

                    Instead of asking such a patsy question. I will be ask Phil Goff if he will take this opportunity to stand together with the union leaders on the rostrum to show his support for working people and their organisations, possibly, even say a few words.

                    How hard could this be?

                    You have asked me to, “tell us what he says”. I will endeavour to do this through your open mike.

        • j 4.1.1.2

          The idea that we must join the Labour Party if we wish to learn its policies is risable. FFS there is an election happening in 12-18 months!

          A standardista recommended that I too join the party early on, when I questioned LP policy. Newsflash – people join parties because they broadly agree with party policy, not to find out what it is, or to have the opportunity to oppose it.

          Maybe this is the problem with Labour’s lack of media traction, not enough journos are LP members and therefore privy to all this secret policy stuff. Obviously someone needs to get down to the press gallery and sign them up.

          • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.2.1

            J, if you want to know what Labour’s policies are, and even better, help set them, joining is the best option. The party needs more members, more activists and more money if it is going to lead the next government. The policies for the next election are not set yet and we are in the parliamentary phase were the opposition opposes government policy, without giving away it’s own plans.

            It is not the least bit risible for me to suggest to Jenny that she join. Jenny is obviously a ‘political’ person, judging by her regular comments and questions on this site. I reckon she’d be an asset to Labour, even though we have often disagreed on some topics. Such disagreements are a healthy part of life in Labour, from my experiance.

            In a wider sense, there are many readers here that should also join. It costs bugger all and affords an opportunity to step away from the keyboard and get politically active. Door knocking on wet Saturday mornings is good for the soul, honest!

            The lack of media traction has nothing to do with the individual political affiliations of the journos concerned. The political media commentators in NZ seem to operate on a pendulum basis. That is, it’s all or nothing. At the moment it’s all Key, but I think the pendulum may be at it’s highest point for National and ready for Goff is starting to gaining momentum. Certainly, there appear to be a lot more positive media mentions of Goff and Labour in the last few days, which is very heartening indeed.

            • loota 4.1.1.2.1.1

              I guess I pretty much back VoR’s comments here…for me joining the NZLP was not about blindly supporting where Labour’s policies of today are at (mmmm indeed where are they?), but more about getting stuck in to contributing to the local debates which are going to shape Labour’s policies of tomorrow.

              Every Labour branch in your electorate will have a slightly different focus and emphasis. Best to look for a branch which best suits your interests.

              The other thing is that actual card carrying Labour supporters number in the thousands. Its a small community and each new member can make a huge difference to the organisation in terms of ideas, neighbourhood canvassing, keeping your electorate MP on his/her toes. (Yes, strong branches and strong electorate committees can serve democracy by ensuring that the local MP stays on the ball).

              Joining does mean having to learn about some of the history and rules of the NZLP before you can become truly effective, but actually it is a fun process and its amazing who you could be shaking hands with within a year or two.

            • Jenny 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Thanks for your kind words VOR, and your offer of membership. I would really like to join up. But feel that it wouldn’t feel honest, as currently I am thinking of voting green.

              However, I have volunteered to help put up bill boards for Len Brown’s campaign as I think his opposition is execrable.

              I feel that this will be good for my soul. (and probably my body as well.)

              On the question of membership this weekend past a leading activist in the Maori Party asked me to join their party as well. (Weirdly I am so a white bread Pakeha).

              She made the same offer you did that I would be able to influence policy and put up resolutions etc.

              • The Voice of Reason

                Sweet as, Jenny. I’ve ticked Green myself at least once when a change in boundaries gave me the opportunity to help try to get Jeanette Fitzsimons elected in Coromandel. Missed by only a handful of votes as I recall. Certainly, I can’t see a Labour led Government in the future that does not have Green support.

                I spoke with a leading left polly yesterday who made the point that 9 National held electoral seats are so marginal that a 3 percent swing from National to Labour will see them go back again. Just 3 percent! Bugger all, if we can convince voters that there are reasons to vote Labour. I don’t know if your local electorate is one of those, Jenny, but it would be sad if your electorate vote was wasted on a Green candidate with no chance of winning, even if your party vote would still be vital for them.

                I’ve said this elsewhere, but this is not the part of the electoral cycle where any opposition party is going to be announcing policy. For the better part of each term, the opposition derides the governing parties’ positions, without being too specific about what they would do in power. In the last months of a term, the opposition parties move to formalise their own platforms, without giving too much away before the campaign begins. Kind of like Muhammed Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy; tie ’em up in jabs and feints for as many rounds as possible, then start swinging.

  5. Carol 5

    I would like to be there, but I work on Saturdays. Will there be future rallies at different times?

    • Jenny 5.1

      .
      You will be there in spirit Carol.

      Like you I also sometimes are called to work on Saturdays. And to my eternal chagrin I had to work the Saturday of the schedule 4 protest to complete an urgent task at the Mairangi Bay Primary school. I had hoped to finish early but the caretaker had forgotten to leave the key for me to get in. (though I probably couldn’t have made it in time anyway) The best I did manage, was to listen to live reports of the protest using the FM radio function of my mobile. (till the battery ran flat).

      How pathetic is that?

      Luckily this protest was so massive and the response so heroic that my little contribution was not missed by anyone but myself.

      Again my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to everyone involved.

  6. Fairness at Work 6

    Yes! the rally on the 21st is the beginning of what we expect to be a long campaign to promote Fairness at Work in the face of a Government which wants to tilt the balance in favour of employers especially bad employers.

    check out the FB page for information about future events and the rest of the campaign. thanks [email protected]

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