Showing posts from March, 2010

25 cents an April Fool's Joke

Low paid workers are set to protest tomorrow in Auckland’s Queen street against a “April Fool’s Joke” 25 cents increase on the minimum wage. The Living Wage Campaign will gather outside JB Hi Fi’s flagship store tomorrow Thursday 1st at 4pm in Queen St. JB Hi Fi is one of the companies currently offering their Unite members a zero percent pay rise. The 25 cent an hour increase in the minimum wage from April 1 has been called an April Fool’s joke on low paid New Zealanders by the Unite Union campaigns coordinator Joe Carolan. Unite Union, organises thousands of NZ’s lowest paid workers in fastfoods, cinemas, hotels and other industries. They are the sponsors of the Campaign for a Living Wage, which has gathered over 150,000 signatures to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. “This April 1st, we’re asking- Who’s Fooling Who? 25 cents won’t pay the rent, and it won’t make a dent on rising costs and inflation for 100,000 of the lowest paid workers. 9 cents of it will alread

Champagne Before Children

Workers to join Beneficaries on Picket Line at Paula Bennetts Unionised workers will join beneficaries on picket duty outside Paula Bennett's electoral office in Henderson today at 11am, as anger against her attacks on the unemployed and their children mounts. "100,000 people are on minimum wage, nearly half a million workers earn less than $15 an hour. Add the quarter of a million who are jobless and the quarter of a million people on the DPB or Sickness, and that's one million people below $15 an hour in this country." said Joe Carolan, Unite Union Campaign Organiser. "Bennett and the government are trying to scapegoat the unemployed and to divide the working class- they'd rather anger was directed at struggling beneficaries and their children rather than at the idle rich who fund their National party." "National are failing the working people of West Auckland- thousands are losing their jobs every month, but the government's response is t

Stop the Bashing- Protest at Paula Benefit's Office

Beneficiaries and workers unite against this rotten government Stop National’s attacks on Benefits Unite for a Living Income Now Protest outside Paula Bennett’s office, 429 Great North Rd, Henderson Saturday 11 am , 27th March The National Government plans to force all single mothers into part time work, once their children are six. Those on Unemployment benefit who fail work tests will have their benefits halved or stopped. Sickness benefits are to be re-assessed and hardship grants are to be tightened. All benefits are to be stopped after one year and must be re applied for. These measures show a “disturbing lack of empathy” towards those who cannot work or who can only work part time while on a benefit” (Child Poverty Action Group). It is simply not appropriate for all mothers on the DPB to be forced into outside work when their child reaches a particular age. Mothering is work, and must be fully supported by society. Family needs vary and it must be the moth

Thailand: hundreds of thousands take to the streets to demand Democracy

by Thai Socialist Giles Ji Ungpakorn Hundreds of thousands of Thai Redshirt pro-Democracy demonstrators took to the streets of Bangkok and other cities over the weekend. This was a show of force to prove the strength of the movement and to dispel any lies by the royalist Government and the media that the Redshirts are not representative of the majority. The stated aims of the movement are to force the Military-installed Government of Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and hold fresh elections. However, it is difficult to see how the Redshirt leadership is going to turn this massive show of popular anger into a force which can confront and overcome the army, which staged a coup back in 2006. This is because the Redshirt leaders are not yet prepared to launch an all out ideological attack on the Military and the Monarchy. Calling fresh elections will not solve this problem. However, the massive turn out of Redshirts from Bangkok and the provinces is an important step forward. The v

Undemocracy Zones in Aotearoa- the Battle of MIT

For the last few months, socialists throughout Aotearoa have been playing a leading part in the Campaign for a Living Wage, gathering over 150,000 signatures at mass petitioning events and festivals throughout the land such as Pasifika, the Lantern Festival, the Big Day Out and Polyfest. Our reception from workers has been amazing- there is no doubt that if this campaign was successful and a referendum was held, it would result in a crushing defeat for John Key's government. Whether Labour and the Big Unions can help the small band of 80 or so activists who have collected the 150,000 first names still remains to be seen- but there are another six weeks to go and it's all to play for. IN Auckland, our campaign has been relentless- on the campuses, in the weekend markets, and yes, even on the beaches! But such systematic and cumulative activism around the issues of wages, prices and profits has thrown up another subplot to this campaign- the right to democracy itself. Nearly


The series of mass strikes rocking Greece should be an inspiration – and an example – to every trade unionist here in Aotearoa. Greece’s government is calling for a range of savage cuts - a freeze on pensions, salary cuts for public sector workers, a hike in a GST-like sales tax increases – all of which will make already hard lives even harder. Europe’s rulers are demanding even more to come and their message is clear: it’s workers and the poor who should pay for the crisis. But workers are fighting back and once again dis-proving the bosses’ mantra There Is No Alternative. The articles provide useful eyewitness coverage , background and analysis .

The Waihopai Three: Standing up to war and terror

“Aiders, abetters and apologists for those nasty nutters dedicated to the overthrow of the West” ( Michael Laws ). “The same sort of confident certainty” as Bush and Blair ( The Dominion Post ): abuse and vilification like this from the right wing shows peace activists Adrian Leason, Father Peter Murnane and Sam Land have deflated more than a satellite dish. They’ve also struck at the shroud of secrecy surrounding the Waihopai Spy Base’s contribution to the US’s wars. They’ve frightened the rich and powerful by taking a stand and, through their trial, have taken the reality of war back into the media. Their acquittal in Wellington last week should give heart to everyone opposed to war and state terror. The Ploughshares campaigners, in the words of Adrian Leason, "broke a law protecting plastic to uphold a law to protect human life". They were right to do so. You can find out more about the Anti-Bases Campaign here . The great US historian and activist

Women's Liberation Today

Women's Liberation Today- a Socialist Aotearoa forum With Nicola Owen, Robin Taylor Lyons and Jane Ferguson 8pm, this Thursday March 4th Tom Forde's Political Museum 122 Anzac Avenue, Auckland. Monday is International Women’s Day. It’s a chance to assess the struggles in the past and those yet to come. We are constantly bombarded with the message that women “have it all” and no longer need to fight for anything better. The gains of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s brought real progress. Over 49 percent of women now go to university, compared with 37 percent of men. Abortion rights are now seen as fundamental among the majority of people and women make up half of the workforce. But politicians and the right wing keep on attacking women’s right to choose. And women continue to be stereotyped and treated as if they are worth less than men. After years of legislation on equal pay, women are still earning over 17 percent less than men. We need to challeng