Happy Labour Day

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, October 22nd, 2018 - 15 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

We’ve written a bit about Labour Day over the years – see the archives for the origins, history, and importance of the day. Enjoying your weekend? Thank a unionist!

15 comments on “Happy Labour Day”

  1. Nick 1

    Have a nice Labour Day all!!

  2. greywarshark 2

    Listen out for a discussion on RADIONZ on future work coming up now.
    9:05 The future of work – the new revolution
    Students from a number of colleges are participating somehow.
    How will artificial intelligence and the gig economy change work as we know it. Megan Whelan is joined by demographer Professor Tahu Kukutai from Waikato University, the founder of Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab, Frances Valintine, Diane Edwards, futurist and General Manager of People, Systems and Technology – Ports of Auckland and Canterbury University political scientist Amy Fletcher.


    Also relevant is Jane Kelsey speaking.
    And further relevant is that it hasn’t been brought to a link with audio which I notice sometime with these items of political critique.

    New Zealand needs to adopt a more inclusive trade strategy rather than serving “privileged commerical interests”, a University of Auckland professor has said.
    The comments were made at an event hosted by the University of Auckland which looked at trade in relation to climate change, workers rights, and Māori.

    One of the event’s organisers, professor Jane Kelsey, said the time was right for our trading agreements to reflect the objectives we had as a society.

    “At present they are quite out of sync, they exist largely to [serve] privileged commercial interests and are driven especially by the negotiating agendas of other countries and people and communities feel disempowered and disengaged from that process,” she said.

    Plus relevant:

    And that is relevant to the bus strikes that Auckland Waikato and Wellington bus drivers are holding tomorrow Tuesday. They say that enforced tendering by government economic strategy looking for cheaper and no doubt ‘efficient’ companies just drives drivers wages and conditions down. They say some bus companies say they could afford to pay more but the system is against them I guess. And this causes a lack of drivers and opens the way for companies to press for imported drivers who will work for low rates.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      On trade – after you have listened to Jane Kelsey – here is John Oliver at full rant on trade – very invigorating!

    • Carolyn_Nth 2.2

      Thanks, grey.

      Plus also Jane Kelsey’s very important article on the change of approach needed for NZ and trade:


      Poverty, inequality, precarious jobs, decaying infrastructure, social dis-ease surround us Governments and international institutions admit that reality at almost every international meeting I go to. They acknowledge there is a crisis of legitimacy in the current regime, and pepper their speeches with the buzzwords of social inclusion, empowering women and indigenous peoples, reversing inequality and embrace the economic, social and environmental pillars of the sustainable development goals – although they rarely go as far
      as mentioning climate change.

      Yet I am cautiously optimistic about the prospects of change, because the forces of creative disruption are breaking the mould, with the caveat that the outcome is not always progressive. …

      Countries around the world are terminating bilateral investment treaties.

      There is active talk about developing a multilateral agreement through which signatory states could extinguish prior agreements, rather than having to unpick them one by one. Countries that feel vulnerable if they take unilateral steps to terminate could benefit from the protection of a critical mass, especially if some larger and stronger countries also want to reconsider their obligations.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    “Thank a unionist!” Okay, I’ll thank Jordan Williams. Not because of anything he’s said, since I don’t recall anything worthy of thanks, but for providing an innovative role model for dinosaur unionists.

    “At about 15, he feared the march of GE, so joined the Green Party. He still considers himself an environmentalist and remains wary of releasing the gene genie, but he no longer gets Green Party newsletters.” Could that possibly because he’s no longer a member? Difficult question to grasp, understandable that the reporter failed to ask it. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76443761/national-portrait-taxpayers-union-founder-jordan-williams

    Unionising taxpayers is a hard row to hoe, and we must admire folk who take on the big challenges. Too bad he’s not boasting about how many have joined the union.

    • greywarshark 3.1


      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Actually, I spoke too soon: ” The Taxpayers’ Union has about 7000 members, Williams says. No, he won’t reveal who they are, only that about 20 per cent of all funding comes from organisations. They raise about $200,000 a year in donations – enough to support two full-timers. But Williams spends about half his time begging for his salary and his sleep quality depends upon the union’s bank balance, he says.” Shoulda finished reading before mouthing off, eh?

        “There’s certainly nothing flash about this central Wellington office. There’s no secretary or reception, just Williams’ outstretched hand.” Handyman, a kiwi archetype, and “He’s clearly a joiner.” Handyman joiner, sounds very traditional unionist, but he also went up-market: “”interned with family friend Don Brash, and was involved in former ACT MP Stephen Franks’s 2008 election campaign. They’re best friends now and it was Franks’s influence that pulled him into law, where he spent four years working at Franks’s law firm.”

        “Williams last year moved to Auckland, where he set up local body watchdog Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance, which has 15,000 non-paying members.” Okay, so this union leader can do practical politics, which is a numbers game. He just has to wait for his mouth to catch up with his brain.

        • greywarshark

          The ability to raise money makes you a political high-flyer apparently. Mike Williams did it for Labour and successfully introduced new methods for meet the people Labour profile raising.

          What a great move it would be to have state funding and reasonable limits on trawling for followers with elections in mind only. We would probably recover all the foregone taxes that get handed out in some form to politics, in less writing off of tax on donations, and perhaps get tax into a better state where everyone contributes something to the country’s coffers, rather than leave it starved into a coffin!

          It’s interesting to read background like this on Mike Williams et al from 2001.
          Starting by reading every book in the Auckland library on political fundraising, Williams instigated three practices. The most important, he believes, was a pledge system, where people committed a regular amount to the party. Automatic bank transfers were new. He used them to the party’s advantage. “There’s still cashflow coming from that, still people in that system signed up by me,” he says.

          He also inaugurated a system using the party’s membership list to send letters with prepaid envelopes to members, asking for donations.
          He and Anderton also started visiting businesses. “It really plugged us into the business community. The first thing you demonstrated was that you didn’t have horns. The second thing was that we started getting money.”

          Finally Williams introduced systematic canvassing and direct-mailing to New Zealand politics. “We’d print out the electoral roll in street order. You’d go along and say, ‘Are you a Labour supporter?’ in marginal electorates. Systematically knock on every door.”

  4. greywarshark 4

    Report on bus strikes on radionz 1pm news. Wellington is not striking tomorrow, Tuesday, and is holding off for two days on legal advice. The others are I think, still going ahead. Keep an ear out, and advise your connections please.

  5. millsy 5

    I think it is time to revisit the whole idea that to support yourself, you need to sell your labour. The whole concept falls through when you realise that in a lot of cases, no one wants to buy.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Stark realisation, can send a person off into depression, crime and mental health issues. Does anyone in politics read the joined-up message?

  6. greywarshark 6

    Hey this looks interesting Jeremy Corbyn and Yanis Varoufakis in 2018 on leftie issues, I think from September. 1 hour approx

  7. KJT 7

    Note: The genesis of our Labour Day, carpenters (contract workers) clubbing together to enforce an eight hour day, forty hour week, is these days, illegal!

  8. Timeforacupoftea 8

    The world has a real problem, which scientists ignore, the population is growing at 200,000 people per day, all resources are under threat, Genesis is considering importing coal, doom, it is all over.

    Get out and live cause generations won’t.

    Russia’s new atomic weapons look promising !

  9. I cant let the opportunity go to play an old song I loved as a kid. Then as I got older I realized the value of Unions. Now, I look on with disgust at the subversive elements such as the NZ Initiative and the neo liberal political cabal that has screwed workers over in the last 35 years.

    Neo liberalism must go !

    Strawbs – Part of the union 1973 – YouTube

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