May Day

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, May 1st, 2019 - 9 comments
Categories: class war, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:


Press release from the NZCTU

May 1 is International Workers Day on May 6 a number of significant employment law changes will come into effect making life better for working New Zealanders.

“These changes are happening because people have come together, they have, in union, campaigned for better employment law. These wins benefit all working Kiwis and are testament to the power of collectivism and the importance of unity,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“The reinstatement of the right to meal and rest breaks is something so important. It is something which has a positive impact on people’s health at work. We know that many employers maintained meal and rest breaks when the National government removed the entitlement over four years. Unfortunately some employers removed this basic right. They will now need to

“Good employers have never used trial periods. The fact that they are now a thing of the past, for workplaces of 20 staff or more, is a great thing. The next step is to give all working Kiwis more stability with the removal of trial periods entirely regardless of the size of the workplace.”

“Being able to see in writing what your employment conditions are is so important to working people. It provides certainty and transparency. From May 6 labour inspectors will be able to issue immediate fines of $1,000 where an written employment agreement is not in existence.”

“There is certainly more work which needs to be done including the introduction of Fair Pay Agreements. This May Day we’re celebrating the successes working people are having with improvements to their working lives,” Wagstaff said.

For more information about the employment law changes visit here.

9 comments on “May Day”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Far be it from me to be a party pooper, though likely US Imperialism takes the biscuit there, launching an attempted coup in Venezuela on May 1!

    The formation of the NZCTU in 1987 was in hindsight a major mistake, and a significant number of experienced unionists and left activists warned against it at the time. The fighting FOL (Federation of Labour) essentially subsumed by the state sector Unions. Notwithstanding the great defensive work the Teachers Unions carried out under hostile Governments against Bulk Funding, National Standards and Charters (penetration of public education by private capital).

    The CTU fell at the first hurdle, by not vigorously opposing the Employment Contracts Bill. It embraced tripartism, and tried to “do business” with a National Govt. and Employer grouping that wanted nothing less than the total destruction of Unionism in New Zealand. And so, the CTU, apart from honourable brief flickers during Helen Kelly’s time became another research/lobby group afraid of its own shadow–i.e. activity based around the level of what affiliates would support, rather than providing a class analysis and positive public leadership.

    The CTU should now be leading the charge to retire the neo liberal consensus between National and Labour that has operated for nearly 30 years now and become an orthodoxy with a toxic psychology that has affected much of society. Unreconstructed neo liberal bludgers in top public sector jobs have put the handbrake on all sorts of Govt. activity–they are an ‘enemy within’ that needs dealing with. Individual unions are doing well at the moment, various incremental reforms are transforming low paid workers lives in aged care etc. with more to come. By next May Day it would be good to see that the CTU has gone on the front foot, appearing on workers picket lines etc. like Jim Knox used to! and directly negotiating with Govt. Ministers.

    • In Vino 1.1

      Like and agree, TM.

      But, being an insufferable pedant, I must point out that while it was 1st May here, it was 31 April in Venezuela..  Bloody Imperialists can't time anything right!

      • In Vino 1.1.1

        Pedantic erk!!  That was supposed to be 30 April.

        What has happened to our good old 'edit' option?

        It no longer is there if you log out but immediately back in again. (I used it to add this bit. but having logged out of 1.1, I found no edit function when I realised what I had done and logged in again. )

    • mosa 1.2

      Thanks for that T.M

      I almost forgot about Jim Knox who fronted the FOL for many years and went head to head with Muldoon.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    Please folk join your union.  They are there to help you,  and your subscription provides you with help when a problem arises.  Think of it as an insurance to make sure you will be treated fairly. Our wedding anniversary no. 54!!

  3. DS 3

    Speaking of May Day, I see David Farrar is busy trying to associate it with Stalin and Mao. I have written a little reply to that…

  4. CHCoff 4

    The unglamorous side of politics, something with alot of silent support but in general a deflated political ball.

    Ideally one of the benefits of m.m.p and having parties like the Greens around that can give representation gravity to significant constituencies in areas that otherwise wouldn't get to give a say despite a more general support, due to being in the more blind spot of the political mirror.

  5. Morrissey 5

    No One Cares IDont Care GIF - NoOneCares IDontCare Idc GIFs

  6. Morrissey 6

    Sorry, I didn't mean to post the message "No One Cares." I was transferring images to my file for use at a later date and using the blank comment space as a holding station. 

    For the record, I <b><i>DO</i></b> care!

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