It is a fundamental injustice of our society that one family, which already has more than it can ever need, can hold 1,300 families, who have very little, to ransom just to make a little more cash. But the union makes us working people strong. By standing together, the workers are beating Talley’s in the AFFCO lockout. Talley’s cracked. Wants half them back. The workers have said ‘all of us or none of us’.
Now, you might think that it’s a reasonable concession by Talley’s to raise the lock-out on half the staff. But it’s a union-busting tactic. They hope to split the unionised workers into two groups. Divide and conquer. It’s especially cynical at the Feilding plant, where the only worker who didn’t have his lock-out notice lifted is the democratically-elected union delegate.
It shows incredible sacrifice and sense of community from the workers who could have gone back when their lock-out notices were lifted to stay staunch beside their mates. They have endured over 9 weeks without pay. They could have gone back and started getting paid again. It must have been very tempting to take that short-term gain. But it would have meant turning their backs on their fellows who have stood beside them. It would have made them no better than the non-union workers that take the pass-on from collective wins but never contribute anything themselves. It would have ultimately made them worse off because their union would have been in a weaker bargaining position in forever after.
So, instead, they have joined the hundreds of workers whom Talley’s never locked out, but who struck to stand beside their locked out comrades.
Because, in the end, the capitalists actually need us more than we need them. Their power simply comes from the ownership of capital and an economic-political system that supports that power. But they still need people to make that capital work. That is real, physical power. It is only when workers have the strength to stand together, to stand up for each other than the bullying scum of this world lose.
That’s how they are beating Gibson and Pearson at Ports of Auckland. That’s how they’re beating Talley’s.
But the fight’s not over yet.
Talley’s new collective offer is completely unacceptable – it apparently purports to give the company the power to fire union workers it doesn’t like, which is unlawful.
Hopefully, the workers will at least be back at work soon but, until then, there are over a thousand workers off the jobs. They need your support. Donate $5 by phoning 0900 LOCK OUT or check out other options here.
Together are we strong. And together, we’ll beat the likes of the Talley’s every time.
PS. And while I’m at it, a shout out to the iwi groups who have stood beside the workforce in their rohe, regardless of their whakapapa, offering food parcels and help with accessing WINZ support. It’s wonderful to see some iwi leaderships haven’t been infected by the corporate mentality and will stand up for ordinary people against scumbags.