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Labour Day – won by workers

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 26th, 2015 - 99 comments
Categories: history, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

We’ve written a bit about Labour Day over the years. This time let’s just leave it at this thought from the PSA. Have a good one…

99 comments on “Labour Day – won by workers”

  1. gsays 1

    Mmm.. Maybe day off for most, however I am off shortly to cook for people who want to spend some their day going to a cafe

    Please be patient with the staff.

    Enjoy yr labour day!

  2. Gangnam Style 2

    & spare a thought for those in care work, retail & service industries who do not get this day off to spend with families.

    • Rosie 2.1

      +1 Gangnam Style.

      There was a time when public holiday actually meant public holiday.

      The 1990 employment contracts act put an end to that when we lost our penal rates, and because of that shops started opening 7 days. I was just entering the work force at the time and going to 7 day trading really sucked for us shop girls.

      Still does imho.

      • Macro 2.1.1

        Yes! The 1991 ECA was a great leap backwards for all workers IMHO.

        Thanks National – always working for NZ….. /sarc

  3. Ben 3

    Do the good wishes extend to all workers, or just the guys on the shop floor?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The poster says “working New Zealanders, like you”.

      You must be trying very very hard to be confused about what that means. Or perhaps you just want to register your anti-social hostility. It’s duly noted.

      • Ben 3.1.1

        So in your world, having an opinion that doesn’t match yours demonstrates anti-social hostility. Overreact much? Before going full-retard, did you re-read the poster with an open mind?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          No, I take a negative reaction from someone whose flamebait comment history is overflowing with hatred, as being an expression of hostility, like every other comment you’ve ever made.

          It’s possible to keep an open mind, and recognise your comments as bad faith drivel.

          • Ben 3.1.1.1.1

            “….comment history is overflowing with hatred”. Sorry to burst your red ballon OAB, but I don’t actually hate anyone, or anything. I have strong opinions yes, but not hate. Once again, lack of agreement with your POV = hatred and hostility, and a search of your history proves that without doubt.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh sure, there was no malice in your assertion of Hager’s “crime”, nor in your relentless white-anting. No malice whatsoever.

              You don’t like being called out for your exhibitions of hatred? Stop exhibiting yourself.

              • weka

                I think he’s got you there OAB (on looking at people’s history’s). Plus there is no way to tell tone from text such as his. Is this going to be yet another thread of off-topic arguing about arguing?

                Ben, how about answering Tracey’s question below?

        • Tracey 3.1.1.2

          Perhaps you could explain how you thought it only applied to those on the shop floor?

          • Ben 3.1.1.2.1

            Perhaps I’m wearing my centrist-tinted glasses, but the reference to ‘workers’ gives me the impression that it relates to blue & white collar workers and not the people that employ them. ‘Them and Us’.

            One definition of a union is “an organisation of workers formed to protect the rights and interests of its members.” In other words to represent the workers against certain employers (or Govt.) who may wish to exploit them or erode their rights. Given that it is a PSA poster, that is how I read it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2.1.1

              to represent the workers against certain employers (or Govt.) who may wish to exploit them or erode their rights.

              That is a facet of the work unions do: there are bad employers and the National Party who attack working New Zealanders. Most employers and governments understand co-operation, however, and unions do a lot of that too.

              Your bias is showing.

              • Ben

                You have no bias? Or is it only OK for you to show bias, but not me. Once again, if it doesn’t agree with your view on the world, it’s wrong, or in the very least gets a special label.

                Please let me know if I can’t show bias here, and I will try my best to hide it. Just for you.

                Do you actually have an opinion on the poster, or are you simply lying in wait to pounce on the people that dare to question its meaning? If this thread consisted of 55 posts all saying “great poster”, “well said” etc it would be pretty dull – or perhaps that is what you seek.

                You seem to get pleasure from attacking and labelling people, which somewhat detracts from the salient points of your responses.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Who said it’s wrong to have bias? I said yours is showing, and that it reveals your hostility towards the union movement.

                  Part of discussing messages from unions usually involves some sort of fatuous ignorant ‘contributions’ from right wing extremists. Are you surprised that such contributions are subject to criticism?

                  It’s funny that you confuse criticism of your assertions with a personal attack. Are you really so arrogant to assume that your hostile behaviour wouldn’t get challenged? Diddums.

                  • weka

                    It’s not hard to see how someone who’s already been attacked would assume they were being attacked again.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So you’ll be able to link to my attack upon Ben then, as opposed to Ben’s comments and behaviour.

                    • weka

                      No, because then we’ll just end up in yet another meta argument (a semantics one). Well done on another derailment though.

                  • Ben

                    OK got it, you are criticising, not attacking. In the future when you use such language as:

                    anti-social hostility;
                    overflowing with hatred;
                    bad faith drivel;
                    malice;
                    exhibitions of hatred;
                    reveals your hostility;
                    your hostile behaviour; and
                    right wing extremists.

                    I will know where you are coming from.

                    You used the above phrases because I poked the stick at a PSA poster. I sense that you are uptight about something, and I hope you get to the bottom of it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, you still don’t get it: an attack upon your comment is not an attack on you. Your remarks about Nicky Hager, Andrew Little, etc etc, however, are attacks upon them, not their opinions.

                      You can dish it out just fine, eh “Ben”.

            • Grindlebottom 3.1.1.2.1.2

              It’s talking about working New Zealanders Ben. Plenty of employers are also working New Zealanders. They can take the day off too if they want.

              • miravox

                “They can take the day off too if they want.”

                That’s the key difference isn’t it? Employers don’t have to ask permission for a day off, and won’t get sacked from their own business of they take one.

                • Grindlebottom

                  Yes, true but many employers also simply grant their employees the statutory holiday. The employees don’t have to ask permission.

                  • miravox

                    No, employers don’t simply grant a statutory holiday. Its an entitlement for the employee by law. There’s no benevolence from the employer there.

                    I can just imagine how many people wouldn’t get a day of for Labour Day if it was up to the employer.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.2.1.3

              Thanks.

              Yes employers work. They also have “unions” and the biggest ones get to directly lobby the Government for things to benefit them.

              However given who the advertisement is from I suspect it does not include employers but does include all people who work for someone else.

              The Employers and Manufacturers Union can issue its own posters anytime, and more importantly get to have tea or coffee, dinner of a drink with our Cabinet members, almost at will I suspect.

              So, not suprisingly an organisation paid for and representing, workers in our public services is thanking people who might be seen as “workers”.

            • miravox 3.1.1.2.1.4

              but the reference to ‘workers’ gives me the impression that it relates to blue & white collar workers and not the people that employ them

              In my view Labour Day is for people who negotiate the sale of their own labour with an employer (that includes negotiations with the government for pay when unemployed).

              So yeah – them and us if you want to put it that way. Employers don’t have to negotiate permission for a day off or the hours they work with anyone else – they’re the boss.

              Of course, they have other issues in terms of time, conditions and money, but to me that is not what labour day is about.

  4. Bill 4

    Hmm. I’m getting an uncomfortable twitch at the use of ‘our society’ when the workers referred to are ‘you‘ and not ‘us‘. Know what I mean? There’s a certain jangle of inclusion and exclusion going on between the first and second statement.

    That’s not to mention the unfortunate side-lining of foreigners, or anyone not in work, who fought for or who fight for workers rights in this country.

    • Gabby 4.1

      Crikey, sometimes it’s a struggle to find the worm in the apple, but I think you’ve managed. Crack on.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Language, and its sometimes unintended or implied message, is important Gabby and that poster is riddled through with obvious fcking disconnects. I mean, it’s not as though it’s an off the cuff statement by someone. It’s a poster that was created and that people had time to read and consider.

        Terms like ‘paternalistic’ and/or ‘elitist’ and/or ‘patronising’ come instantly to my mind…

        Not so to you from your perspective? Fine.

        edit. Would a friendly and encouraging message from ‘the overlords’ be worded any differently to that poster?

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          How would you word it?

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Differently.

            • Amy 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Maybe something more pointed like ‘celebrating the 8 hour work day, fast being eroded’, or at least something conveying that meaning would have made better political statement.

              But then maybe that not so good as it is political in nature

        • Gabby 4.1.1.2

          Thanks ever so much for the lecture. That was hardly condescending at all.

          • Bill 4.1.1.2.1

            As ‘hardly condescending’ as your original comment was ‘hardly contemptuous or dismissive’? Or more so? 🙄

            • Gabby 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Far less hardly condescending, I should say. Also less not hectoring and pompous, as if it was possible to bore the reader into agreement. I’ll admit dull acquiescence might be doable, if winning Owner of the Language for the day is that important.

              • Grindlebottom

                I think I agree with Amy and you, Gabby. Whoever started this thread with probably the nicest of motives had no idea what it would turn into.

    • People working in New Zealand without a residency are still “working New Zealanders” in my book, even if they’re not permanent ones.

      You have a point about those of us out of work, or doing unpaid work, however.

    • Ben 4.3

      I get the same vibe – subtle exclusion going on, which allows those with their head deep in the sand to believe it is a message for all.

      • Amy 4.3.1

        These comments are ridiculous! It’s a poster attempting to make a very positive statement about Labour Day and what it means. Difficult enough in such a small space. Give the writers some credits please.

        Would you prefer the poster was in the form of a legal document, covering every possible scenario and interpretation with clauses beginning with ‘if’, ‘then’, ‘but’?

        But then that would not be a poster would it? It’s a poster. It has a simple and clear message. Are you people never happy?

        • Bill 4.3.1.1

          No Amy, no need for a pile of qualifications. Simply something like this perhaps. Three words omitted.

          The day off that working New Zealanders fought for and won.
          We thank you for your contribution to society, today and throughout the year.

          The result of ‘two seconds’ reflection is a world of difference from

          The day off that working New Zealanders, like you, fought for and won.
          We thank you for your contribution to our society, today and throughout the year.

          • Amy 4.3.1.1.1

            So you think the PSA is not apart of the society that you and I live in? They are. That’s why they choose the words they did. Your ommission of ‘our’ gives an entirely different meaning. In fact, no meaning at all in this context.

            And the ‘like you’ is an attempt to include us all in the message. Certainly neither I nor my past family had any involvement in creating new Zealand Labour Day, but I consider myself now a Kiwi and one that broadly shares most common views of NZ.

            These are ridiculous comments and totally missed message and i sad that even a simple positive poster is subject of so much silly argument.

            • Bill 4.3.1.1.1.1

              I completely get the message they were trying to send. I also instantly got all the stuff I’ve mentioned in previous comments though. In other words, it’s a piece of bad messaging.

              • Grindlebottom

                I can’t help wondering how many people in our society these days wind up working on public holidays and not getting paid time and a half and an alternative day off. Labour Day would probably be a sick joke for some.

                • whateva next?

                  employers market atm, “you want the job or not? style employment

                  • Grindlebottom

                    Yeah. A friend of mine, qualified professional (less said the better) has had trouble getting full-time employment in her field. Has now obtained a satisfactory job in her profession. Good pay, likes the work, is respected and gets on well with her colleagues, and likes her boss. Has to work an irregular schedule of days, but no more than 5 days per week.

                    Her boss expects hard work but he works hard himself alongside his employees. 8 hours, 30 minute lunch break, no tea breaks – get and have your coffee on the job.

                    He owns several businesses and has about 40 staff in total. His staff like working for him. He accommodates their desired working hours and days as far as possible. But he won’t give any of them written employment contracts, even though he’s required to by law. She can’t leave she needs the job. And he pays well. And if she leaves for something else too soon he may not give her a good reference.

                    Next time I see her I’ll be asking how she gets on for holidays and so on without a written contract.

          • Tracey 4.3.1.1.2

            your version still only thanks those in paid work Bill or who ever worked. LOTSA women fought for it but were “just” wives..

            • Amy 4.3.1.1.2.1

              Yes but the wives still received the benefit of the changes by virtue of their husbands.

              I just struggle to believe the comments on this topic. It’s a positive poster acknowledging a very great achievement. As I stated earlier, what you want, a ten page poster full of clauses covering every group and contingency?

            • Bill 4.3.1.1.2.2

              Ocht – I left out heaps. I was only tweaking the framework that was there to show how effortlessly it could be improved on.

              If I was sitting down to do it properly, I’d be very mindful of the potential impacts of any ‘you’ and ‘we’ as well as the inclusive or exclusive impact of any particular categorisation. And I definitely wouldn’t write it in a way suggestive of being written from the outside looking in and …oops, there goes the impossibly torturous ‘we thank you’ 😉

              A simple :”The day we fought for and won” probably covers it. You identify? Then you are of the ‘we’ the statement speaks to and for. You don’t identify? No matter.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.3.2

        subtle exclusion

        Obviously the message could exclude those from whom the day off – and the eight hour day it represents – had to be won. It’s always been a popular cause though: those that resent it are a tiny ACT-like extremist minority.

    • Tracey 4.4

      I took “you” as it being personalised, making a personal connection between the messenger and the person reading it.

    • miravox 4.5

      I don’t see it sidelining anyone. I see it as a message to PSA union members, therefore ‘you’.

      I don’t believe the message should be interpreted any more widely than that.

  5. Mike the Savage One 6

    It is time to honour such public holidays, especially ones like Labour Day. Sadly I see rather little of it, for most it is a day off, fair enough, to take the kids out, but many are also filling the malls and doing stuff that they would do any other day.

    I was just getting into relaxing a bit late this morning, to enjoy the quiet day. But then our immigrant contractor turned up with his wife, to mow the lawns, trim the edges and spray some herbicides around.

    Labour Day it is for some, others use it as an ordinary “working day”, as I see.

    With some exceptions, shops and other places of work should be closed on Labour Day, so ALL (apart from essential emergency and care workers) can join and have a day off, I reckon.

    • Amy 6.1

      Immigrants most do not understand the significance of days like Labour Day, and absolutely do not share it’s ideals. The ideals for.most Asians are family first, and the tireless pursuit of income to provide for their family and raise its status is their almost sole concern.

      But personally, I would support your view of malls and so on being forced to close on some key public holidays.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        So how many of the ‘most immigrants’ you’ve encountered actually don’t understand the significance of days like Labour Day – eg, workers memorial day or Mayday? I’m asking because of all the immigrants and foreigners I know (many) not one is lacking in such ‘understandings’.

        And then I’m quietly reflecting that on discussion after discussion on union matters here on ‘ts’, it pops up that unionism in NZ has been driven, at least historically, in no small part by immigrants and foreigners.

        As for that unhealthy obsession with status you seem to be slating Asian peoples for, see here.

        • Amy 6.1.1.1

          I AM Asian. Chinese, 9 years in nz. So I have in depth knowledge of this sector of immigrants.

          And it is far from ‘unhealthy’ obsession with family and status. It is our (Chinese) culture and also that of many other countries in eastern Asia. If you think this is unhealthy, then sadly it is a comment from your ignorance and dare I say, racist, point of view.

          But then maybe you are of the view that Chinese or other Asians do not have the right to express an opinion, or that if we have a differing view then it is us that are ignorant? You dare to assume that because of the no doubt tiny number of Asians that you no doubt superficially interact with, that you understand the oldest culture on earth?

          Racism and ignorance is sadly very strong in this thread. No wonder few of us become involved.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            You see a tireless pursuit for status as laudable then? Apart from the fact I misread the intent of your comment, fine – I don’t. (Hence why I linked to the post espousing a view more in concert with my own).

            ‘fraid you’ll have to spell out the racism inherent to my point of view btw, cause like…whoosh.

            Also not picking up on the ‘ignorance and racism’ that’s ‘very strong in this thread’. Care to highlight?

            My understanding of Chinese culture is probably no better or worse than my understanding of many other cultures. That’s life.

            And if you can find a single example of me attempting to shut someone down, either successfully or otherwise, simply because of where in this world they happened to exit their mothers body, then I’d love you to link to it.

          • Rosie 6.1.1.1.2

            Hi Amy. I’ve seen your comments before and was interested to read your observations of society and politics from a Chinese perspective. Please don’t be discouraged and do continue to contribute.

            I think more voices from cultural perspectives other than Pakeha would be really helpful on this blog. It’s important we don’t develop a one dimensional way of understanding or viewing ourselves and our roles and experiences in society and democracy. Different cultural voices bring different dimensions.

            Us Pakeha get a very bland Pakeha centric media telling of whats what all the time and we have to search out different cultural perspectives (eg, Maori TV, the Chinese stations on Freeview, Al Jazeera etc) just to get a more holistic view.

            I welcome your voice and I’m sure many others would too.

          • Grindlebottom 6.1.1.1.3

            I like to see Amy’s views too, it’s good to have different cultural perspectives.
            But claiming Chinese is the oldest culture on earth itself comes close to claiming some form of cultural superiority. It doesn’t stack up historically, so let’s not go down that path.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle_of_civilization

            • Rosie 6.1.1.1.3.1

              I wasn’t aware that Amy or anyone else had made that claim.

            • Amy 6.1.1.1.3.2

              I apologize if it sounded like a claim of superiority. I certainly did not mean it that way.

              However, we were taught from the first day of school that China has the longest continuous culture on earth, which may be true. Last week China’s leader Mr Xi gave a speech 8n London to say that China’s political system is far older than England’s. This is also maybe true.

              But superior? No! China in many ways still living in the past. Things like forced abortions are still common. The treatment of the uighurs and other minorities makes America’s treatment of the Iraqi people seem quaintly paternalistic by comparison.

              So no, I do not say superior! But do take much offence at racist comments that the Asian striving for family and status is bad.

              • Bill

                But do take much offence at racist comments that the Asian striving for family and status is bad.

                No such comment was made…most everyone strives in one way or another for family.

              • Grindlebottom

                Hi Amy, thanks for replying.

                You got me interested in the issue. There is evidence now that Australian aborigine culture is probably the oldest continuous culture in the world, going back perhaps 40,000 years.
                https://www.didjshop.com/shop1/AbCulturecart.html

                I think all cultures have evolved, including Chinese culture, and there has been more than one political system in China hasn’t there? You might find this worth a read.
                https://www.quora.com/Is-Chinese-culture-civilization-the-oldest-continuous-culture-civilization-in-the-world

                There probably really isn’t a genuinely continuous culture anywhere. Australian aborigines, wherever they originated, may even have learnt or adopted customs and behaviours from other ancient tribal groups. European cultures themselves can be traced back thousands of years too.

                I wonder if there has just been a misunderstanding about the word “status”. I’ve certainly seen documentary items (like on 60 minutes and 20/20) about the health problems caused by the terrible stress that students and sometimes employees are put under because of the competitive demands of family or work “status” in some Asian countries. Japan and Korea in particular, I recall.

                Anyway Amy, please do continue contributing to this blog.

                • Amy

                  Thank you for kind comment and interesting views! I will certainly read the article you have pointed to.

                  In China we were taught that we are ‘pure’. That is, racially pure han. Whilst all other ethnic groups are a result of inter breeding. We also taught that we are the oldest continous culture on earth as a result. Yes, these views are abhorrent and probably seem racist. But few chinese question such views and until recently questioning would simply not be possible.

                  If it any consolation, we chinese are very very racist against other chinese, with for example, Guangdong people in the south being seen by those in the north as being dirty, smelly, lack of culture etc!

                  Please please please do not see my comments as saying I accept this or that I think this is superior. It is what we were taught (I am 47). My son was also taught this prior to living in nz.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    we are ‘pure’.

                    Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe approximately 39,000–41,000 years ago but they have contributed 1–3% of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia.

                    Nature

                    I wonder how the “purists” of all cultures are going to explain that!

              • Grant

                I’m having trouble processing the notion that a political system which has been in place since 1949 is older than Britain’s admittedly new fangled democracy. Surely both are recent innovations compared to the ancient monarchies and imperial dynasties which went before them?

                • Amy

                  Maybe you tell Mr Xi this! I struggle to understand his view too!

                • Grindlebottom

                  I suspect Mr Xi may perhaps have been referring to Imperial China having had a political system with a longstanding meritocratic bureacracy:

                  Chinese civil service, the administrative system of the traditional Chinese government, the members of which were selected by a competitive examination. The Chinese civil-service system gave the Chinese empire stability for more than 2,000 years and provided one of the major outlets for social mobility in Chinese society. It later served as a model for the civil-service systems that developed in other Asian and Western countries
                  http://www.britannica.com/topic/Chinese-civil-service

                  Meaning and context are so vital to language and understanding.

                  • Amy

                    Except new China is not and never has been a meritocracy. For example, for ne to get into nursing school a significant bribe was required. My then husband’s family had to pay a huge bribe for him to be employed by school as teacher.

                    It is still the same. My brother has cabling company in Jinan. Most work is for local government. To get paid, he always MUST pay huge bribes otherwise never get paid.

                    Mr Xi may like to pretend new China is a meritocracy, but clearly he knows this is a lie, as he has named number one priority in the current 10 year plan as being stopping corruption.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      No wonder you immigrated to New Zealand Amy. Things must seem so much better here. I find it hard to imagine what it would be like to live in China with their current so it seems mixture of capitalism and communism. I didn’t realise corruption was as widespread as you’ve described.

                    • Venezia

                      Thank you for your comments and insights on this thread Amy. I hope to read more from you.

      • Mike the Savage One 6.1.2

        By the way, the reference to the immigrant contractor mowing our lawns, that was just an observation, as I suppose some born and bred New Zealand contractors may well be doing the same on Labour Day. At least some other neighbours who are clearly born and bred New Zealanders (I know this for sure) did also mow their lawns, doing it themselves.

        I was just concerned about contractors running businesses, and perhaps seeing a need to keep working their routine rounds, even though it is a holiday, as there may be stiff competition, and a pressure to pay the bills. But this is exactly part of the problem, the hollowing out of laws and regulations, of the whole employment and opening hours for retail shops, that has led to even more cut throat competition. If ALL would have the same rules and would stick to them, we would have a level playing field. But it was government, and then the consumerist citizens, who wanted to shop 24/7, and who kept demanding that others slave, while they “enjoy” themselves while shopping or going to fun parks and restaurants.

        Now we have just two or three days in the years, where shops must close, and even that is under threat now. Imagine, once Sundays were largely closed for business! People did not starve or die, because the shops were closed.

    • Grant 6.2

      I’m a fourth generation nz’er of British descent from working class union supporting stock. From 1987 to 2006 I was precariously self employed as a lawnmowing contractor. In that situation, with no holiday pay, sick leave or income of any sort other than whatever profit I could glean from a modest hourly rate governed by very stiff competition, awarding myself a day off to celebrate the achievements won by the labour movement was a luxury I could seldom afford. Because the work is seasonal, weather dependent and erratic, it’s definitely a case of ‘making hay while the sun shines’. Having said that, I was aware of not intruding on my customers when they were trying to relax on high days and holy days so I always asked whether they minded and moved on if they did.

  6. infused 7

    Probably only a day off for those that have a 9/5 job.

  7. infused 8

    Was discussing today though with my old man. How about a 10 hour day, 4 day week? I’d be keen with that. More productive and 3 days off would be gold.

    I don’t know how it would work in the service industry though.

    If my company was a bit bigger, I’d try it.

    • b waghorn 8.1

      I’ve though 4 / 8 hour shifts followed by 4 days off would instantly double the amount of jobs ,there are fishhooks like weekend sport I realise but it would work with a lot of industries and it might be a way of cutting down on people needing to do night shifts.

      • infused 8.1.1

        This was tried at dunlops when I worked there… They used 12 hour shifts though. 4 days on, 5 off, 2 on 3 off. Something like that. Was quite tiring.

        • nigel gregory 8.1.1.1

          I do 12 hr shifts. 4 on 4 off. 3 rosters days then 3 rosters nights.
          It’s a good pattern if you take care of yourself, rest etc.
          We work labour day etc, penal rates plus time in lieu as money as we are 24 x 7. Most guys don’t mind that.
          Labour day is a day to reflect on what our parents and grandparents fought to acquire as normal working practice. For that I am thankful and think of my grandad often.

    • b waghorn 8.2

      Was it the workers who came up with those hours or was it a management decision.?

  8. Once was Tim 9

    Anyone else noticed the absence of the usual RW spin meisters on this thread?
    Earth to Mathew …..
    Earth to – well you know the usual.

    No doubt they’ll be perusing their ‘portfolios’ and exercising a bit of ‘work-life’ balance.

    If they pop up now – you can judge for yourselves the motivation. I ‘spose most of them were rostered off. No doubt tho’ they’ll be busy – even if its attempting to legitimise that Tony Blair outburst (if ever NZ MSM is going to report it, let alone figuring out how o frame it all – no doubt they’ll follow some offshore take)

  9. Once was Tim 10

    Jesus! I just realised I wasn’t going to comment in here.
    Never mind – as you were. Disregard the above and all before

  10. upnorth 11

    Why do unions claim that they secured the Labour Day holiday. It was a carpenter an individual and a couple of mates of Simon Parnell.

    He was not a unionist.

    It was recognised by parliament in 1899 under the Liberal Party – the Liberal party was the early National Party. The Liberals set u capitalisaton in NZ and set up labour laws

    Seriously will people on here do their homework. PSA shame on you for claiming glory.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      Parnell greeted ships coming in to Port Nicholson, and told all new migrants not to work more than eight hours a day. In a workers’ meeting at October 1840, it was agreed that people should only work eight hours a day, which must be between 8am and 5pm. Anyone accepting less favourable working conditions was to be thrown into the harbour. The eight-hour day was cemented when, in 1841, road-builders in Hutt Valley went on strike after being told to work longer hours.

      Nothing like a union or anything resembling one. No sirree. Just a group of individuals making the good choice to make common cause among themselves. No, wait…

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        +1

        These right-wing individuals really don’t seem to understand that if the majority of workers working together hadn’t enforced the 8 hour day then Parnell would not have achieved a thing.

  11. Chooky 12

    Great Post…thanks to our working class ancestors who fought for it

    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/labour-day

    “Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day…

  12. Chooky 13

    Song for Labour Day

  13. weston 14

    and all this time i thought labour day was when u had to plant the spuds !

  14. Labors are the least paid stratum of society particularly the unskilled ones. We do not see young labors in Europe as an advancement in the education sector but event then women as working partners at different forums are facing exploitation when they are paid less than the male counterparts. Labor of any society is the life and blood of the industrial sectors; and face financial set backs when replaced by machines. Governments reforms in New Zealand are not very pro active to safeguard the standard living of the labors within the country.

  15. Tom Barker 16

    People here who maintain that Sam Parnell was not a unionist are deficient in the facts, probably willfully. Before arriving in this country he was an active unionist, organising among London carpenters and other building trades workers. Furthermore, he was a Chartist, an advocate for the Workers Charter whose five main demands included – wait for it – the eight-hour working day.

    He did not belong to a union in NZ because none existed in this country in 1841. Saying he was not a unionist at the time he made his historic stand for the 8-hour day in Petone is rather like objecting that he was not a member of the NZ Labour Party (founded 1916).

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