Showing posts from 2009

Auckland's Climate Change protest before Copenhagen- Red Bloc

Just over 2,000 people joined the Planet A march against Climate Change today in Auckland, calling for a 40% reduction in emissions by 2020. Socialist Aotearoa went on the march along with other Leftists and unionists as a Red Bloc, and gave out hundreds of leaflets on why climate change can only be stopped with anti capitalist politics. We then helped get over 1,000 signatures for the Campaign of a Living Wage, and most of the protesters made the links between a system that exploits workers and exploits our planet. TVNZ footage HERE TV3 footage HERE

Hopenhagen? Plan B for Planet A

We are everywhere Ten years ago on the 30th November 1999, tens of thousands of people shut down the World Trade Organisation summit in Seattle showing the world the power of globally coordinated people power. The word on the streets of Seattle and in the minds of people struggling against profit driven greed was 'Another World is Possible'. Ten years on, as we collecively teeter on the brink of climate chaos the word on the streets of Auckland and in the minds of those on the front lines of Climate Chaos is 'Another World is Neccesary'. Socialist Aotearoa would like to say good on you for joining in solidarity with the billions of people all over the world who are standing up for action on Climate Change at this historic point in the history of humanity! a Plan B for Planet A Fortunately, we can do a lot better than this – history has shown that changes can be made by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. As our politicians fail us, we need deeds and not words. W

2025 Aotearoa - An alternative vision

By Omar Hamed, Socialist Aotearoa 2025 Taskforce? More like the 1984 Taskforce, if you ask most people. Even Prime Minister John Key has stated that the policies being promoted by former Reserve Bank Governor, National Party Leader and hollow man Don Brash and the 2025 Taskforce in their recently released report are those that opened up the wage-gap between New Zealand and Australia in the first place. Yet the increasing gap between Australian and New Zealand wages and the burgeoning public debt remains a critical issue for young Kiwis and the lack of real public understanding, engagement and discussion with the politics of these issues leaves policy space open to the dinosaurs of the radical right, who even have the gall to tell us, "The case for any minimum wage at all is questionable." The crisis in world markets, rising unemployment, the collapse of Government surpluses and the rising tide of climate change will force us to make some tough decisions in coming years. Unle

The Battle of Seattle

Ten years ago, a coalition of environmentalists, trade unionists, student and radical activists faced up to a militarised police force and shut down the World Trade Organisation summit in Seattle. The Anti Capitalist movement was born. To celebrate ten years of resistance, and to discuss where now for the movement against capitalism, join us for a screening of the film BATTLE IN SEATTLE today Tuesday 1st December at 7pm in Unite Union, 6a Western Springs Road, Morningside. “Those who were arguing they were going to shut the WTO down were in fact successful today.” That was the frank admission of Seattle police chief Norm Stamper after the events of November 1999. A huge protest had disrupted the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in the city. US president Bill Clinton, government ministers from across the globe, and the heads of the world’s mightiest corporations were there to plan how they could increase their domination of the planet. Instead, tens of thousands of protesters gav

Brash can't tell Up from Down

Unite, the union that organises thousands of low paid workers in workplaces such as cinemas, fastfoods and call centres, thinks that Don Brash needs a lesson on which way is up and which way is down. Brash has proposed to reduce New Zealand's income gap with Australia by cutting the minimum wage to $10 an hour, re introducing youth rates for workers under 18, and slashing public services and conditions that benefit the working poor. The union's Campaign for a Living Wage spokesperson, Joe Carolan, says- "In order to reach Australia's income levels, we should increase our minimum wage to $15ph this year, and to two third's of the average wage afterwards. The poorest Australian workers benifit from a minimum wage of NZ$17.50 an hour, just over $200 more a week than their Kiwi counterparts. We've been out gathering thousands of names in support of this demand every week on the streets and in the workplaces throughout New Zealand. 4 out of 5 people agree with us-

Celling Out

Commentary: Cameron Walker, Socialist Aotearoa It is sad that National, ACT and the Maori Party have voted to privatise prisons. Overseas experience shows that prisons run for the purpose of profit are incredibly open to abuse of inmates, poor treatment of staff and corruption. Earlier this year it emerged that two judges in Pennsylvania, USA, had been receiving payments from the owners of a youth prison in return for passing harsh sentences. One girl was sentenced to three months simply making a satirical Myspace page about her teacher. The Corrections Minister, Judith Collins, claims that the experience of Auckland Central Remand Prison under the management of GEO Group Australia, earlier this decade, shows that private prisons are a success. However, the prison was brand new and utilised the latest developments in prison design and security system technology. Disruptive prisoners could always be moved to Mt Eden prison next door. As the American prison researcher Christian Parenti n

Drinking Labourly with Phil Goff

COMMENTARY- Omar Hamed, Socialist Aotearoa As the sun went down across a glassy Auckland harbour and inner-city workers scrambled for home, I met up with other Socialist Aotearoa comrades who went to see Labour leader Phil Goff speak at the London Bar. After getting there and buying a pricy bottle of beer, we retreated to the back of the bar as suited party functionaries and smart-casual looking centre-left students and intellectuals swilled around us. The first bitter taste in my mouth came when the organiser of the event, from the group Drinking Liberally, kept using the word “We” to describe the audience at the event but implying that we were all Labour Party members. No wonder people accused the Labour Party of arrogance, when all you have to do is turn up to hear their head honcho to be a member. Anyway, up to the stage went Mr. Goff, pint of beer in hand, to begins his ruminations. Launching into an articulate attack on the Tories first year, Goff covered his three stand-out iss

Living Wage for the Living Dead

an anti capitalist Zombie movie set in a Post Crisis Auckland where Zombie workers rise up against the bloodsucking vampire boss class.

Capitalism Sucks! Pictures from the Halloween March Against Low Pay

Bosses- Hear the Workers Rage- Raise, raise, the minimum wage! Vampire Boss burns in a fire! What do we want? BRAINS! When do we want it? BRAINS! The Zombies United, will never be defeated! Vampire Capitalism Sucks! Working for Nothin', really SUCKS! What do we want? 15 BUCKS! Sue Bradford on her last night as a Green MP rejoins the Parliament of the Streets. Robin, Socialist Zombie Queen! Who'll carry high the burning flame? BURN! BURN! THE VAMPIRE BOSS! thanks to John Darroch for the fantastic pictures. See them in full at Resistance Photography.

Vampire Bosses, Beware! Zombie Workers, Rise Up! Halloween Posters

Click, Print, Copy and put up! Two new posters going up round Auckland for the Halloween Trick or Treat Protest


By Mike Treen Unite National Director Official data on wage movements in New Zealand point to a real wage decline of around 25% between 1982 and the mid 90s that has never been recovered. There have been two series measuring wages in the period – the Prevailing Weekly Wage Index (discontinued in June 1993) and its replacement the Labour Cost Index. I have created a continuous series based on the LCI series back to 1982 (by adjusting the PWWI numbers before December 1992 when PWWI at 1000 was equivalent to the LCI at 868). These numbers are in turn deflated by the CPI index covering the whole period. What is revealed is that by the mid 90s real wages had declined at least 25%. There has been no recovery since then and real wages remain 25% below their 1982 peak. This result can be directly attributed to the combination of the massive de-unionisation as a result of the anti-union employment laws and the recession that accompanied it in the early 1990s. The decline in real wages wasn’t of

Nationalise NZ Bus

Time to step up the pressure - Auckland needs fair pay for bus drivers The past week has shown just how crucial our bus service is for the people of Auckland. For a week, NZ Bus not only locked out the drivers who had done no more than vote to follow the company's own safety rules, but also the 80,000 people who rely on buses to get to work and school. The bosses showed exactly how little they care about our community when they rejected the drivers' offer to take the school run for free on the first day back at school. NZ Bus is happy to take the subsidies paid for from Aucklanders' pockets, but they don't care what kind of service we get for our money. There has been huge support for the bus drivers from the travelling public. The drivers' campaign has highlighted the low pay and terrible working conditions that bus drivers face every day. From the start it has been clear that the company is only interested in squeezing as much profit as it can from both

Zombie Workers fight Bloodsucking Vampire Bosses in Auckland CBD, Halloween

click on pic, print off, copy and poster SHOCK! Zombified minimum wage workers awaken and achieve class consciousness, pouring out from the shopping malls to choke the bloodsucking vampire capitalists who exploit their surplus value as profit! HORROR! Zombie workers march en masse on citadels of the elite vampire bosses in Auckland city centre- Massive vampire Boss staked in public and then burned in a bonfire! All this and more, From 7pm Friday October 30th in Auckland CBD. Brought to you by the Campaign for a Living Wage

LOCKOUT Day 5- Auckland Has Had Enough!

Message to NZ Bus: Auckland has had enough 12 October 2009 ARC Chairman Mike Lee has delivered a simple and blunt message to NZ Bus, on day five of the NZ Bus lock-out of drivers. “We have had enough. Auckland will not be held to ransom. If you can’t deliver the services that the people of Auckland rely on, then we will have to find someone else who can,” he said. Today the industrial dispute again disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of Auckland commuters. The disruption was even worse with the start of the school term. Despite meetings over the weekend and facilitation today, it appears that the company and the union have made no meaningful progress on settling the dispute. “The Auckland travelling public have run out of any patience or sympathy for this on-going nonsense,” said Mr Lee. “NZ Bus operates public transport services under contract to the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA). NZ Bus is currently in breach of those contracts – it is not delivering the se


click, print, copy and distribute!

Victory to the Busworkers of Auckland

For weeks now, the bosses have been going on the offensive in New Zealand. Emboldened by the election of a National-Act government, they are now declaring industrial war against the working class. They have used the Lockout weapon against Telecom Engineers, Open Country Cheese Dairy workers and now our Busdrivers. This attack now needs to be met by co ordinated action by the Union movement. Ten of thousands of Auckland workers are also locked out by Infratil- the working poor who rely on Public Transport. Those of us who cannot afford expensive parking charges and high petrol prices must now attempt to find other ways to work. We will not be blaming the Locked out Busworkers. They are workers just like us- struggling to survive in a low wage economy that sees their pay scale go from $14 to $16 odd. We will be blaming the Corporates in Infratil- a useless company that wastes the millions of dollars it receives in Public Subsidy in dodgy investment ventures overseas. The money th

Taking On the Bosses Offensive

Across New Zealand, workers are beginning to see the effects of a crisis that they did not create. Our busdrivers are threatened with lockout. Our firefighters who risk their lives for us have to strike for a pittance. Our Telecom engineers are forced to give up their sick pay and holidays and become private contractors at the very time we need a decent broadband system. And those who work the hardest and dirtiest jobs are paid the lowest- hundreds of thousands of workers try to make ends meet on a minimum wage of $12.50, or not much more. In Waikato, Open Country Cheese locked out their workers for daring to think about striking, employed scabs to replace them and then had the cheek to accuse the workers of sabotage when waste was pumped into the rivers by people who didn't know how the plant worked. In Manukau City, Bridgeman Concrete locked out their workers even though they hadn't taken any action, in order to enforce a pay freeze and break the collective agreement. Across

Time for a United Front on the Left

Our busdrivers are threatened with lockout. Our firefighters who risk their lives for us have to strike for a pittance. Our Telecom engineers are forced to give up their sick pay and holidays and become private contractors at the very time we need a decent broadband system. And those who work the hardest and dirtiest jobs are paid the lowest- hundreds of thousands of workers try to make ends meet on a minimum wage of $12.50, or not much more. The anger is building noticably in the last few weeks, and this time, it's not just socialists or revolutionaries or the usual suspects on the Left who are talking about it. There's a real mood in Auckland city to unite these struggles, and there's a lot of people talking to each other again about making something happen. Socialist Aotearoa activists have been out talking to people in other unions and in other parties of the Left. Initatives such as the Campaign for a Living Wage are seeing the beginnings of a United Front effort

Workplace Fightback: Build it from Below

Head delegate Peter Kelly from the Telecom Engineers speaks at the Strike Benefit The weather packed in as activists, unionists and socialists headed to a small fundraiser on a rainy Friday evening at Auckland Trades Hall. As well as netting a neat sum of cash ($450) for the Telecom workers facing redundancy and a new form of precarious employment through a dependent contractor model, the gathering also provided a forum for people to begin discussing what’s needed in order to gain or retain living wages and job security through the recession and the National government. With bus workers overwhelmingly rejecting Infratil’s latest offer and changing into Strike gear, fire fighters prepared to confront their chiefs and John Key on picket lines and public service workers facing a round of 0% pay offers the stage is being set for a broader confrontation between employers keeping workers screwed down on poverty wages and fed-up workers prepared to try their luck with industrial action. Apat

Racists go to Hell

Video of the protest outside Hell Pizza in Quay Street, Auckland, after their use of a racist advertising campaign . Omar and Joe explain why it's not a joke.

Class Cuts? Class War!

Marching against Education cuts earlier today in Central Auckland. With thanks to John from Resistance Photography for the excellent pics

Massive Busworkers Stopwork Sends Strong Message to INfrat

Hundreds of Busworkers walked off the job and held a massive stopwork meeting in Alexander Park today, as they tore up the pathetic offer from a bullying management in a resounding 608 to 8 vote. The combative mood was high, as this low paid and multi ethnic workforce organised by the National Distribution Union, Akarana, Tramways Union and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union combined to fight poverty pay- Socialist Aotearoa members collected 410 signatures for the Unite Union's Campaign for a Living Wage. What happens next remains to be seen. There is massive support amongst the Busdrivers to fight a greedy company that gets over $88 million of taxpayers money to provide a public transport service, yet uses and loses this money overseas in dodgy investments. Socialist Aotearoa says use it to pay every busworker in Auckland $20 an hour- after all, they carry the most precious cargo of all- working people and their families. And give them their time and a half ove

Firefighters Protest at opening of Mt Roskill Fire Station to go ahead

“The protest by striking firefighters at the opening ceremony of the $4.9 millon Mt. Roskill fire station tomorrow (Friday), will go ahead”, says Jeff McCulloch, President of the Firefighters Union in Auckland. He said “We were hoping that our concerns would have been given some sort of credence by the Fire Service and the government, but that has not happened, so our protest will proceed” Jeff says “we are protesting not only in support of our contract negotiations, which have stalled, but also to bring to the attention of the Prime Minister and the wannabe Supercity Mayor John Banks, the extraordinary extravagance and inept management of the senior managers of the Fire Service who can spend $4.9 million on what is essentially a 5 bedroom ho

Copenhagen climate summit: All targets, no action

Market priorities look set to shape the Copenhagen climate summit if we leave it to our leaders to save the planet, writes Sadie Robinson The countdown to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen has started. The December meeting will bring together environment ministers and world leaders to reach a new agreement to succeed the 1997 Kyoto climate change treaty. But organisers are already laying the ground for disappointment. Helen Clark, the UN development chief, said recently, “Copenhagen has to be viewed as a very important step. “Would it be over optimistic to say that it would be the final one? Of course. If there’s no deal as such, it won’t be a failure.” She is wrong. The Kyoto treaty, which commits a number of countries to carbon emission cuts, expires in 2012. Meanwhile, report after report has shown that the climate is changing at a faster rate than previously expected. We are running out of time to save the planet – and the Copenhagen summit looks set to di