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Opposition to Nats’ attack grows

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 25th, 2014 - 79 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, equality, jobs - Tags:

Labour’s petition against National’s attack on Kiwi’s rights including the right to a break at work is growing like topsy with over 22,000 people signing up to it in the last day and a half.

Labour spokesperson Andrew Little told TVNZ:

“The Bill fundamentally changes the nature of many hard-won employee rights; it also does away with collective bargaining protections, makes vulnerable workers’ jobs even less secure and undermines the principles of good faith,” Mr Little says.

“To begrudge anyone having a cuppa or a meal break during their working day goes against the grain. It’s a Kiwi tradition. Doing away with it is mean-spirited and unfair.”
It’s not too late to sign. National failed to get the Bill passed before Labour weekend so it’ll have to go back next week. If enough people stand up against it before then at the very least it’ll be another political embarrassment for them in a third term that is already marked out by arrogant attacks on Kiwis’ rights.

If you haven’t already signed you can click here to add your voice to the thousands who are standing up for their rights against National’s attack.

79 comments on “Opposition to Nats’ attack grows ”

  1. karol 1

    Why is it only the meal break part of the Bill that’s being protested? What about the attacks on collective action etc. Aren’t they all extremely important?

    • Chooky 1.1

      +100 …tea breaks are extremely important …but so also is the collective action

      infact it is extremely short sighted of this John Key Nact govt….because a tea break allows workers to relax/rehydrate , have a snack if necessary and then recoop their energy ..ie less accidents, greater concentration on the job…better goal setting…better worker relations and social atmosphere

      the ability to take collective action also helps employee /employer relations because it gives workers a safety valve … to be able take action if the employer is not listening…and it puts the employer on notice that worker issues should be resolved peacefully and collaboratively before collective action becomes necessary….collective action is a last stand for workers…and it is important for worker empowerment and rights to be treated with respect

      …a good employer will endorse tea breaks and collective action

      • bruhaha 1.1.1

        I think they are but I’d guess they think it’s the tea-break issue that has the most cut-through. It’s a simple and easy sell and it speaks to values.

        Good to see Labour campaigning with some clarity and using the K.I.S.S. principle. Would have been good it they’d applied it to their campaign platform.

        • Olwyn 1.1.1.1

          Well I certainly hope they don’t let Key get away with allowing the tea breaks while doing away with collective bargaining, the latter being more important in the long haul. It is certainly possible – a humiliated Labour claiming a ‘ much needed victory,’ while Key shows his ‘moderateness’ and collective bargaining goes down the drain.

          • bruhaha 1.1.1.1.1

            I think keeping the tea breaks would be a reasonable victory from opposition. it would make a real difference to the many many people who have to work one person retail jobs, or who have employers who would happily remove the breaks and get the extra half hour of work a day out of their employees.

            I’d rather that Labour managed to stop that one thing than they did a complicated and hard to sell campaign that resulted in getting no win at all. Politics is the art of the possible.

            I’m a union member and I’m worried about the changes to bargaining more than the meal breaks but I also think you’ve got to play the hand you’ve been dealt.

            • Olwyn 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I do see your point, but I also see that Key’s ‘moderateness’ consists of allowing concessions that do not cost him ground. In this case, collective bargaining is the ground he is interested in taking. So, a while a victory over the tea breaks is most welcome, it should not be allowed to stop there.

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.2

            Olwyn
            That’s wise, very likely outcome that is Not Wanted.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.1.3

            this is most likely nat strategy

          • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.1.4

            Key, or whoever advises him, often puts up more than he wants and adds a little bit on that he’s prepared to give up. The whole smoko thing doesn’t make sense unless we see it as a red herring. A red herring that Labour is trying hard to catch. Sigh.

            • Olwyn 1.1.1.1.4.1

              Well, it may be a red herring, but as bruhaha points out, it can still be used as a widely recognised handle with which to fight the bill as a whole. However it will not do for Labour to crow about getting National to back down on tea breaks while quietly accepting the loss of collective bargaining.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.2

          and doesnt mention the word union which the lp seems mostly embarrassed by thes days

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.3

          It’s a mistake.

          Press release from the Pry Minister: “We’ve decided to listen to the concerns of working Kiwis – the proposal to remove tea-breaks will be removed from the bill”.

          National get to look conciliatory and still kill collective good-faith bargaining, and it’s too late to raise consciousness about it by then.

          Edit, in other words: I agree with Olwyn.

    • Tea breaks are iconic, easy to talk about, and easy to build protest action around (last year thousands of workers participated in the “Give Us a Break” action because it was accessible and relevant.)

      Of course the rest of the legislation is draconian and designed to drive down wages and conditions as well as dismantle unionism further. But the rightwing have had a long time to bed in narratives about unionism and collective bargaining which mean people don’t see these as important issues.

      • karol 1.2.1

        I can see the logic of that, and the important gains of a successful campaign. But I also can see dangers (as Olwyn says above).

        • Bill 1.2.1.1

          Something like the ‘Work Rights. Our Rights’ slogan from the 90 Day Bill would have encapsulated the tea break and all the other aspects of the bill in a way that allowed people to pick and choose their area of concern, while leaving National’s counter strategy of minor concession to win the battle dead in the water.

          Maybe the Labour Party wasn’t listening to Helen Kelly when she pointed out that a potpourri of messages, that are only universal when seen as a whole, is a sure fire way to confuse and disengage people. Any collection of messages must be brought under a rubric of universality to be effective.

          The tealeaf readings are telling me two things today…

          1. Tea breaks saved.
          2. Work rights gone.

          edit. I know I’ve been out of the workforce for several years now, but am I to believe that workers in NZ now refer to their teabreak and not their smoko?

          • Stephanie Rodgers 1.2.1.1.1

            You mean something like “Fairness at Work”, which was, indeed, the slogan of the campaign against this bill last year when rallies were held around New Zealand attracting thousands of workers? When the government did, indeed, put this bill back on the order paper until ultimately John Banks’ resignation made it impossible for it to pass?

            I honestly don’t get the snarkiness being levelled at a last push against a terrible bill which the government is trying to pass as quickly as possible at the start of its term, while people are still exhausted and bored of politics.

            We have three more years of an unbridled National-led government to go. Our work rights are, frankly, fucked. But let’s not begrudge one basic right to people who are already un-unionised, already overworked and underpaid, and already fighting just for basic respect in the workplace.

          • wekarawshark 1.2.1.1.2

            “edit. I know I’ve been out of the workforce for several years now, but am I to believe that workers in NZ now refer to their teabreak and not their smoko?”

            Both have always been used and still are from what I can tell.

            • Clemgeopin 1.2.1.1.2.1

              I don’t like either of the terms, Tea break or Smoko break.

              I prefer if it was simply called Work break or Rest break.

              • left for deadshark

                We will call it what ever we fucking like.It has been call many things,some PC, some not.

    • Helen Kelly 1.3

      The law is similar in concept to the Employment Contract Act. Firstly it will be unlawful to strike for a multi employer agreement. Secondly although this time an employer will need to turn up to negotiations (something they did not have to do in the ECA), they will legitimately be able to refuse to settle on the basis they want individual agreements (our international obligation is to promote collective bargaining, not allow IEAs the same status), . An employer at some point in the negotiations will be able to seek court support to declare the bargaining concluded. At that point any agreement in place from previous negotiations ( currently an agreement runs in for a year after expiry) will be dissolved putting all workers immediately on individual contracts in the workplace (think teachers). Applications to the Court will include them being made as a tactical move. If a court orders conclusion of the bargaining without any settlement of a collective, a 60 day period follows where workers cannot strike, nor bargain and the good faith bargaining provisions do not apply. During this ” no rights” period the employer is free to promote individual agreements. If a collective is agreed this no longer will be automatically offered to new workers (the 30 day rule). New workers can be employed on alternative terms. This breaks up the collective over time and weakens future bargaining effort. Strikes are restricted in other ways too and ofcourse meal breaks are no mandatory. Employers are now calling for another review of the Holidays Act and in particular the calculation of time and a half for working on days like Labour Day. This law will make NZ one of the most unprotected labour forces in the OECD. It is radical and extreme. Apart for the reqruiement to turn up to bargaining on employers, it is effectively the same as the ECA in terms of product. Not one employer has defended workers publicly during this attack on them. When people say ” not all employers are bad”, I agree but I want some heroes.

      • Chooky 1.3.1

        this John Key Nact govt is trying to pit New Zealanders against New Zealanders

      • Tracey 1.3.2

        so employers have to pay an initial lip service before dismantling their workplace collective?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.3

        “Not one employer has defended workers publicly during this attack on them. When people say ” not all employers are bad”, I agree but I want some heroes.”

        +∞

        What are they afraid of? Losing government contracts and public smear campaigns against their businesses or something?

        Re: the international obligations, will this government’s predatory human rights abuse stand up to judicial review?

  2. Raa 2

    It seems to me that part of National’s success has been its ability to claim that it is acting for the common good, casting Labour as a party of sectional interests – a strategy going back to 1951 before most voters were born, but still a potent campaign slogan trotted out in the recent election.

    In Australia this is reversed, with conservatives branded as 19th century Liberals and Labour calling itself the ALP.

    This argument can only be pushed so far, and the NZLP should seize this opportunity to confront Aotearoan realities in the Asia-Pacific approaching the 2017 vote and beyond.

    These would include increased use of low-wage immigrant labour in farms, factories, vineyards, and defacto slavery among some overseas fishers offshore .. all of this putting pressure on NZ working conditions and leading to a plantation mentality among its beneficiaries.

  3. Lorraine 3

    Yes it is 19th century law. Employers not allowing a 2 x 10 min tea breaks and a meal break at a reasonable time during the day is cruel. This is fundamentally going back to the industrial revolution where employers had all power and employees had none. People need to have a small break every 2 hours. At a time when medical knowledge is telling us not to sit and work constantly but to get up and walk around, have a break etc. every hour or so our government want to change the law so an employee won’t be able to do that. An employer will be able to tell an employee they have to work 6 or more hours before they can take a lunch break or maybe even 7.5 hours.
    It’s crazy. There will be a lot of employers that would force people to work without a break for 7.5 hours especially in the food industry, low paid work unskilled or semiskilled work and even in offices when deadlines are needed to be met. I worked for a guy some years ago who tormented us if we didn’t eat our lunch at our desk. He also broke the law by smoking in the office. Even when he was reported the young chinese workers he employed would not admit that he did this because they were afraid of loosing their job. I left after a few weeks there. Exploitation is rife if labour laws take all the power from the employee. People can’t afford to loose their job.
    There would also be a rise in the number of mistakes and accidents if employees are not allowed breaks. It’s draconian law.

  4. Richard Christie 4

    Key won’t give a toss.

  5. If you happen to watch parliament on TV, how many times do we see MP,s asleep on the Job, it happens often and we pay these useless layabouts hundreds of thousands of dollars each and they have the gall to try and stop our 10 minutes tea and meal breaks.
    Is this what we pay them to do , our employees ?

    National are nothing but mongrels.
    Do as we say, not what we do.

    What Arseholes they are.
    Well, their waterloo will come and it will be good riddance to them.

    • Chooky 5.1

      what John Key’s Nactional are doing is completely FOREIGN to New Zealanders ‘ civil and peaceful and fair and egalitarian CULTURE.

      …it is socially divisive, brutal, short sighted , uncivilised , contemptuous of New Zealanders and contemptuous of their collaborative history and culture

      …it would not have happened under other National governments or other National government leaders eg Holyoake or Muldoon or Bolger

      ( who were REAL New Zealanders and had RESPECT for their FELLOW New Zealanders in an egalitarian democracy)

      • JanM 5.1.1

        Really?

        • Chooky 5.1.1.1

          I know of a foreign company..(.i wont say where from….except that the word “usury” springs to mind)….that runs international airport shops…New Zealanders are paid less than their Australian counterparts in the same jobs ( and also I think in the country of origin of this company) …and are paid at the absolute minimum…despite many of them being very experienced workers and mature in age …collective action has now been ruled out for them…i dont suppose it helps that these workers are largely women

          …it reminds me of the struggles women had to get equal pay for equal work ( maybe this will be the Nact governments next attack ie attacks specifically on womens’ pay rates and equality of remuneration)

          ….women university postgrad students are already being put at a disadvantage by this Nact government … because high paying jobs are harder for women to get to put themselves through university or pay back loans…..women are being priced out of postgrad university study ….. unless of course they come from wealthy families that can afford to put them through university …it is social engineering towards sexual discrimination and a class system

          …with low wage rates and high and rising house prices very few under thirties New Zealanders can now afford to buy their own homes …unless they have a rich daddy ….this is John key’s Nact reality

  6. dv 6

    I thought it ironic that they ran out of time to pass the legislation.

    Because of the 90 min dinner breaks??

  7. chris73 7

    Where in the bill does it show that tea breaks will be done away with?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Specifically, under the heading “Compensatory measures”.

    • fisiani 7.2

      Chris 73 there is no part of the bill that takes away tea breaks and lunch breaks. The law will pass and workers will still have tea breaks and lunch. The sky is falling, crying wolf, end of civilisation hyperbole will go the same way as the supposed evils of the 90 day right to prove yourself law which has been proven to produce at least 15,000 jobs and is standard in virtually every developed country.This post neatly explains a large part of why Labour are increasingly seen as irrelevant. National are perceived as giving the workplace flexibility and efficiency and greater profitability and higher wages.Anyone can trick 22,000 people to sign a petition but when 20,000 find that there is no downside the respect for the reasonableness of the incremental reforms of the third term of Honest John will only grow. I despair for the Labour party I once knew and was a member of that actually seemed to care for the disadvantaged.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1

        Proposed Section 69ZEA, in fact.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          neither fisiani or chris have read the bill but are comfortable with its implications

          🙄

          • fisiani 7.2.1.1.1

            Taking a rostered staggered tea break, 1/3 at 9,50, 1/3 at 10,10 and 1/3 at 10.30 in a retail store means that at all times 2/3rds of the staff are on the retail floor yet every worker still gets a tea break. This is the commonsense approach currently unofficially taken by staff at present all over the nation rather than arbitrarily closing the shop at 10,00 to 10.20. and repeating this in the afternoon. The hysteria in this post is derided and scorned by 99% of workers. Only the anal retentitive need a biscuit on the stroke of 10.01. I truly despair for the once proud Labour party.

            • joe90 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Do you think this is about retail workers?.

            • miravox 7.2.1.1.1.2

              how many times have you been into a shop and found all the staff on a teabreak at the same time fisi?

              • It’s the rightwing spin, painting minimum entitlements to breaks as licence for evil, stupid, lazy, irresponsible workers to wreak havoc – you’ll note John Key and Simon Bridges would frequently talk about teachers and air traffic controllers (in some imaginary Bizarro World) just downing tools and damn the consequences, as “proof” that they need to change the law.

                There’s another rightwing trap in fisiani’s comments: the idea that if things are pretty much OK in some workplaces, it means we don’t need minimum requirements. Because sure, there are a lot of good bosses out there who treat their workers with respect – but we don’t have laws because of good people, we have laws as protection against bad people.

              • fisiani

                Read my comments again. Which part of “currently taken unofficially by staff at present” is hard to understand. Talk about a storm in a morning tea cup. Get a grip. Making business less rigid and prescriptive is good for New Zealand. Andrew Little is the new Ned Ludd.

                • miravox

                  http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/myfirstjob/employees/during/holidays-and-leave/breaks.asp

                  Just how unofficial are arrangements for staggered breaks now? The storm in the teacup is coming from you.

                  The new legislation is taking away the employee right to agree, not giving the employer a right to organise, staggered breaks. They already have that.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Over the last thirty years as our governments have instituted more and more free-market policies I’ve seen businesses becoming more and more rigid. They can do this because their power over the populace has been growing – generally against the will of the populace.

                • locus

                  Rigid and prescriptive?

                  The right to a couple of ten minute tea breaks in a working day and half an hour unpaid lunch break is barely decent as is.

                  Undermining this right of working people is somehow good because it makes business more flexible?

                  How many breaks do you take in a working day fisiani? Were you ever a worker who valued your smoko and lunch break?

                  Promoting a nasty piece of proposed legislation by using terms like “less prescriptive” defies logic. But I guess spinning and logic mean the same to our less prescriptive and less rigid economic masters…

                  • Clemgeopin

                    The right to a couple of ten minute tea breaks in a working day and half an hour unpaid lunch break is barely decent as is

                    I think the half hour of lunch break too should be a paid break because it is within the normal working hours and done in the working place or close to the working place and done not at home after work hours.

                    I think this RW National government and the champions of the worker, Key, English and Bridges, should add the provision to their bill to make the workers’ lunch break a paid break.

            • Clemgeopin 7.2.1.1.1.3

              This is the commonsense approach currently unofficially taken by staff at present all over the nation

              Then why the need for the legislation then?

              What is the real hidden agenda of the government, the corporates and the employer unions?

              Why does the bill take away collective bargaining protections?

              Why make the low paid vulnerable workers’ jobs even less secure?

              Why undermines the principles of good faith bargaining by giving the upper hand to the employers?

              Where are the real and fair safeguards and protections for the workers, especially the less educated, less strong and less paid workers?

            • Bassguy 7.2.1.1.1.4

              When I worked at K-Mart, in the mid-1990s, that policy was already in place. Each sales station had a minimum of two staff members on, and only a single staff member was to take their break at a time. At no time was any station to be unmanned.

              That was almost 20 years ago. It worked then, and for decades before that, so I can’t understand the need for change now.

              If a manager isn’t able to organise the roster to allow for something so simple, I’m not sure that he or she is competent to handle any significant responsibility.

      • chris73 7.2.2

        + 100 Fisiani

      • Tracey 7.2.3

        when rogernomics was king… i wish you reguritators would tell your whole story

    • joe90 7.3

      What the pricks really want.

      Suggested Amendments

      In light of the matters discussed above, OceanaGold submits that the proposed new sections should
      be amended as follows:

      • Section 69Z0, sub-section (2)(b) should expressly permit restrictions in agreements reached
      on meal and rest break times and durations, relating to circumstances when an employee’s
      break may need to be deferred, re-scheduled or cancelled as an isolated or temporary
      measure, including on the day on which the break was due to be taken.

      • Section 69ZEA, sub-section (i) should expressly allow compensatory measures to be agreed
      in substitution for a particular break as an isolated or temporary measure, including on the
      day on which the break was due to be taken; and

      • In the absence of agreement to compensatory measures, section 69ZEA should allow the
      employer to specify compensatory measures in circumstances analogous to those described
      in section 69ZE, sub-section (2

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5NxIlPro54UJ:www.parliament.nz/resource/0000116387+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=nz&client=firefox-a

    • Tracey 7.4

      you could try reading it, then you would know. you could try understanding the power disparity in many employer and employee relationships, in favour of employers and you wil know who the “flexibility” will favour

  8. Bill 8

    Fuck, that we’ve come to this…petitions were always a small component of a protest – not the embodiment of one. Maybe a couple of grand will now be spent on a billboard to signify a ‘campaign’ being well done?

    Seriously! Any action that can be contained is an action survived. And there is not a single, legal, on-line action that cannot be contained…dismissed…ignored.

    25 000 people on the streets would be a reasonable start by NZ standards. 25 000 non pro-forma letters sent to politicians or a newspaper’s letters page would be indicative of something.

    But 25 000 online clicks with no avenue presented for further action…no stepping stones to any escalation? That’s 1/ 25 000th of sweet fuck all.

    edit Still sitting on hundreds of “Work rights. Our rights” stickers from the EPMU 90 Day Bill actions a few years back. I can’t be the only one. Why not kick start that, or similar? At least it encouraged people to be involved beyond a face book ‘like’

    • blue leopard 8.1

      You ultimately make a good point, Bill, however I do think petitions are a good thing because they allow one to see how many others feel the way oneself does.

      How supported a petition is, and how quickly that support is gained, helps us to see what issues strike a chord with others in the community.

      This is a fairly important effect when there is a clear push (and a fairly successful one, I might add) to alienate people of decent people-not-solely-profit-focused values from one another, and when the discouragement of collective actions is so rampant.

      I suspect that the more a person realizes that others feel strongly about an issue, the more likely a person is to pursue the matter on a more active level. (i.e. going to a protest, or writing a submission).

      • Bill 8.1.1

        And the pointers from the on-line petition to things such as protests or meetings and such like, are where?

        I know it’s only a Labour Party on-line petition, and so I have no right to expect much (if anything), but I’d have thought that ‘Protest 101’, whereby there is tie-in to other parties/orgs involved, or a signpost to some umbrella grouping, or…just anything that would indicate something people could give their time and energy to.

        Fuck promotion of this ‘politics as spectator or consumer’, that would have us passive, and our concerns left in the incapable hands of ‘experts’, ‘movers and shakers’ and politicians…content to gauge and surf waves of public sentiment from positions of relative detachment.

        • blue leopard 8.1.1.1

          Well, like I said, you are making a good point. It certainly would be good to have follow-up.

          I think it is very important, though, to acknowledge the benefits of any political action – even if that happens to be signing an online petition. Also to acknowledge the benefits of allowing people to see how much feeling is out there in the community.

          When I have gone to protests and there is not a great turn-out, it has been disheartening and demotivating more than anything, so I consider the building of an active citizenry through cultivating a sense of collective feeling prior to organizing such events is actually an important part of the process.

          • Bill 8.1.1.1.1

            We essentially agree bl. I’m just astonished that there is no evidence of ‘building an active citizenry’ … in order to organise in any on-going (broadening and deepening) fashion.

            But like I said. It’s the Labour Party. Maybe the unions have something more thoughtful and potentially engaging lined up? (I’d like to think I could hold my breath.)

            • blue leopard 8.1.1.1.1.1

              There seems to be a real lack of strategy evident in the left. I really don’t understand it. The right are much more forward thinking when it comes to strategy (what a pity their policies weren’t the same…)

              • Bill

                Maybe…just maybe…a part of the problem is that the so-called ‘leading lights’ of the left are, in spite of their hearts being in the right place, essentially disengaged from the normal life’s of ordinary people and can only view our concerns with a detached and intellectual curiosity.

                I’m astounded that some potential Labour Party leaders are suggesting they will ‘listen to NZers’ and then make the Labour Party more relevant. How the fuck can anyone be in the Labour Party and not know what the fuck the Labour Party is about? (That’s rhetorical btw) Anyone feeling the need to say they ‘will listen’ has to get the fuck out of the party. Now.

                I suspect similar things can be said of the union movement, where too many officials and secretaries are essentially of the 5 or 10%, are not living the same life, experiencing the same problems, or sharing the same concerns as the bulk of the workers they represent. Worse. They may never have lived, experienced or shared those things, depending on their background, and if evidence is anything to go by, have simply never organised in a way that involved anything other than ‘doing it by the numbers’.

                • blue leopard

                  I think you might be onto something there.

                  I had similar, yet less formulated, thoughts flit through my mind in response to the criticisms being expressed about The Standard by some Labour MPs and leftwing bloggers recently. That there was some disengagement going on with respect to what is required for a healthy democracy. i.e. criticism of interested people discussing political matters seems odd.

                  Your comment makes much more sense of those criticisms – they must think comments on here are terribly radical if they are not living ‘ordinary’ lives.

                  I think you might have nailed it.

                • wekarawshark

                  The thing that bothers me about the ‘listen to’ thing is that we know that much of the listening done by officials in NZ is rhetoric and amounts to one way flows. Councils consult with ratepayers by asking ratepayers to say things, and then the councils do whatever they want, having ‘listened’. What’s really needed is power sharing, making sure that the people being listened to have an actual say in what happens to the the stuff that is heard.

                  • miravox

                    the thing that bothers me is that if they require special channels to listen ‘to’ the people they are not ‘of’ the people.

                    • wekarawshark

                      It’s not special channels, it’s what they should have been doing all this time but haven’t been ie it should be normal channels. So I guess we are saying similar things, however it looks to me like there will always need to be channels until the party is truly democtratic, simply because MPs are focussed in parliament not the community. Supposedly electorate MPs are community based, but I guess that’s going to vary from community to community, MP to MP. Even there though, there need to be processes that are two way and I just don’t see them.

                    • miravox

                      Yeah, we’re in general agreement. I was having a whinge really. Normal channels to me are families (extended), workplaces, social networks etc. Our political class doesn’t seem to rise from the families, workplaces and social networks of their constituents so the new normal channels are special channels to listen to people they have little in common with.

                      I agree we will need these channels until democratisation of parties is improved, but not necessarily because of where politicians’ focus is, but because they often don’t come from the places and networks of the people they are meant to represent.

                • Tracey

                  listen to nzers is code for go out and press some flesh while playing to the camera and then doing whatever caucus decides

                • Murray Rawshark

                  +1 Full agreement there, Bill. A petition in isolation is worse than useless.

    • Tracey 8.2

      nats will say the won a mandate for this on 20 september.

    • locus 8.3

      I agree in part. The online petition is the only avenue for some people to protest however, and it does mean signing your name, which in this increasingly Orwellian and dirty politics society is a small act of bravery.

  9. finbar 9

    The street is the way to say NO.The Bill is going to have its final reading this Tuesday,and it will get a pass tick.Front up at Parliament on mass in the afternoon,let them know,your term this time is going to be a full on rocky one and our tea and lunch breaks along with our right to collective bargaining, are off limits for you to play politic with to appease your corporation freinds.

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    One part of me says fight this legislation and fight the RW bastards.

    The other part of me says, don’t fight too hard. Let the RW bastards do their very worst. Instead, let us go into the next election with a strong radical policy to reverse and clean out all this RW shit.

    Which part of me should I listen?

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    I signed the petition and sent it to a few of my friends and family, some of whom are right wing bastards. Just to put some sense into them and stir their conscience a little, I included this part in the subject of my email:

    ‘Hi Dear,…
    Please sign this petition to support workers, especially those that are in lower paid jobs and with less power to negotiate terms.
    Thanks and cheers
    Clem…..’

    This is the rest of the email:

    ‘Sign the Petition! Save your rights to a tea break!

    The Government’s currently trying to rush through a law to stop workers from having the right to a tea break.

    For thousands of working Kiwis across the country, it will mean the risk of losing the breaks they take to have a deserved rest and a cup of tea or coffee.

    We don’t have long to show the Government the strength of feeling against this proposal, but if they know that thousands of Kiwis feel strong enough to speak out against their plans in just a couple of days, there’s a chance they may back down on this part of their proposals.

    Can you add your name to the petition and stand up for workers’ rights? The more of us who sign it, the more likely it is the Government will be persuaded to rethink their plans.

    Sign here:
    http://action.labour.org.nz/save-our-breaks?recruiter_id=16500

  12. Oh! They have changed the “sign here and you agree that the Labour Party can bother you again” to an opt-out notification. Hooray – can go sign now.

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