Showing posts from 2013


THE DIRTY ROTTEN FILTHY SCAB. Opinion- Dave Phillips. the Socialist Wharfie. We live and hope we never come across any individuals who make the life changing decision to become a scab. The scab grows up without the fibre to fight for the community or morals to stand for social justice .They are born with a total disregard for their fellow working man and woman. How many good solid Union families have suffered at the hands of the scab when th ey slither alongside the bosses to smash picket lines and attempt to undo the work being done on behalf of the union membership and community? What for, some sycophantic self-gratification? There is no long term gain for them; they are a brainless tool in the box of the capitalist.  The Scab has no boundaries; they will grovel, slither through shit and climb over every obstacle in their way to please their masters. The stigma they create for their scab families sticks forever like a contagious disease passed from one to the


 FILM SCREENING-  7pm Friday 6th December 2013 Unite Union, 6a Western Springs Road organised by the Connolly Club of Auckland A fearless, fiercely articulate Irish Republican firebrand, Bernadette Devlin became Britain’s youngest elected female MP at 21 in 1969. Her maiden speech was a stinging attack on the British in Ireland; and when Home Secretary Reginald Maudling claimed that the British army had fired in self-defence on Bloody Sunday she strode across the House of Commons and punched him. Veteran Irish producer Lelia Doolan, a significant mover and shak er herself, has worked for ten years to produce a rousing and thorough picture of this woman who was once recognisable throughout the Western world as the embodiment of politicised youth in revolt. She’s survived imprisonment, a near-miss assassination attempt and years of struggle within and on behalf of the Republican cause. She remains a committed activist and organiser. Doolan builds the film around her

Weak, Feral, Scabs.

by Dave Phillips, Socialist Wharfie The past three years have been one of the worst industrial climates created by greed that many of us will ever see. The expectation of massive returns and a pathological hate of the trade union movement and anyone that dares to join a real union has seen any potential relationship destroyed. Until the removal of those in the halls of power at the port that embraced and developed the culture of hate we now see in our port, the road to recovery will not commence because the wounds cut too deep. Those that chose to cross-over will never be forgiven and will always be remembered for all time in history for what they truly are, the scab. There is a saying “to err is human and to forgive is divine” -normally I do forgive, but when the choices that these people made in an attempt to destroy the community by their self-serving actions there will be no forgiveness from me and nor should there be by any trade unionist. The basis of an

Working Class Heroes of the 1913 Great Strike

Socialist Historian and Playwright Dean Parker tells Unite Union's  2013 National Conference  about some of the working class men, women and childen who lived through the revolutionary moment of 1913 in New Zealand, one hundred years to the day after they clashed with the might of the State on the streets.

Hone Harawira Urges Workers to Fight Back

The Mana Movement MP speaks to the Unite Union 2013 National Conference.

Raising the Retirement Age?

There are now more people retiring than ever and less people working, so there are not enough people to pay taxes to cover the cost of the retirement pension. We are all living longer say the politicians... Yeah right... Who's living longer? The politicians? The capitalists? The lawyers? The lazy bastards who sit on their arses and do nothing are living longer; the people who have the money to pay for expensive surgery or drugs to keep them alive; those who are educated about healthy eating and lifestyle; those who have the time to swan about in saunas and gyms and health spas may be living longer. If you look at life expectancy for various groups, in particular manual workers, Pacific Island workers, Maori workers, you will find that even though these people pay most of the taxes in this country, they seldom live long enough to collect the pension. Meanwhile their peers in the middle to upper class, mainly salaried professionals, or the real bludgers – politicians and wealthy

A Century of Resistance- Auckland Wharfie speaks

  “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction”.  Eric Fromm. Modern society is plagued with workplace pressures unseen for many a year. The craving of wealth by the few at the expense of many comes at a huge cost to the average family. Capitalist greed and the inbred need to have a class system is out of control but consistently gets fed by legislation with laws that introduce work climates unseen since the early nineteen hundreds.  The average worker in this country should be paid a living wage but instead is working in excess of 60 hours a week simply to make ends meet because they are on minimum wage with no additional payments for extra effort. The ability to run a household on such an income is next to impossible because the cost of living out strips the money coming in. Wouldn’t it be an eye-opener to put our politicians on minimum wage just to see how quickly things would change?  Ri

Why John Key should not go to Sri Lanka

Roastbusters - The creation of a sexist society

Many people have been rightly horrified by the news that has come out in the past week of young girls being raped and the failure by authorities to act to prevent further harm. Particularly disgusting has been the police response, beginning by blaming survivors for not coming forward, then, under pressure, finally revealing that they had received complaints two years ago, but still had not laid charges. It is both right and heartening that people are appalled, but we should not be taken in by the fake outrage of those in power. This National government has made huge cuts to services for survivors of rape including making it harder to access counselling from ACC, failing to properly implement the recommendations of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence, and refusing to ensure that rape prevention and rape crisis services receive sufficient funding. The government has also failed to fix the problems with sexuality education in our schools identified in a 2007 report by the

Generation of Anger - Looking for answers and change

In this talk given at Socialism 2013, Bevan M. discusses the global 'Generation of Anger', the challenges it faces and the possibilities of the moment in which it comes to age. I have been asked to talk to you guys about the international rise of a generation in anger. For those of you who I haven’t met I’ll just give you a bit of background about who I am. It’s not impressive or anything like that – I just give it to give you some context, so you see where I am coming from, and why I hold my opinions. My name is Bevan, I’m from Auckland but for the past few years I have been living overseas – I lived in New York for a year starting in September 2008 right as Lehman Brothers were just starting to tip the first dominos of what would be become the recession that we are all still feeling and paying for. During this time I also saw the rise of optimism surrounding Obama that while unfulfilled in many ways, was an incredible grass root movement that turned the American el

Protest Saturday


McStrike - A Delegate's Tale

Taylor M. is a seventeen year old west Auckland McDonald's worker, Unite Union delegate and Socialist Aotearoa member. This is her account of the McStrike campaign. On April 29th, negotiations between Unite Union and McDonald’s broke down over the renewal of our existing collective agreement. A collective agreement is the agreement workers are moved onto after joining the union, which takes them off their individual contracts. Unlike the original contract you’re given when you start working at McDonalds, this agreement allows for negotiation and improvements in future as the union takes into account worker’s requests and complaints when redrafting the agreement for the following year and adding their voices in. This year, additions put forward by Unite Union to be added into the agreement included security of hours, rostered breaks at reasonable intervals, a decent pay of $15 an hour minimum wage, overtime pay after 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, a free meal on any given

Speeches from the Socialism 2013 Conference

  Lisa Gibson, SA and Chair of Mana Tamaki Rohe      John Minto, Mana Mayoral Candidate for Auckland  Shane Timmermanns, SA and Mana on Campus at Auckland University     Mike Treen on the Socialist Action League in the 1970s and 80s.    Joe Carolan, on 5 years of Socialist Aotearoa.

Red Feds and the Great Strike of 1913

Exactly 100 years ago New Zealand was experiencing its largest ever industrial dispute. The Great Strike of 1913. In the end the 16,000 strikers and their United Federation of Labour were defeated, the employers, the reform government and their fascist "specials" (volunteer special constables) known as “Masseys Cossaks” had won. But that is not the full story - the class consciousness and confidence which made the Great Strike possible were earned and honed through the unifying organisation of the Federation of Labour known as the "Red Feds" in the years 1908 to 1913. This new mood was to have a profound effect for years to come." Lessons of 1890 To understand the great strike we first have to look at the defeat suffered by the workers in Maritime Strike of 1890 and its aftermath. That defeat had convinced many in the union movement that strikes don’t work, political power and arbitration are the only weapons workers can use, and the only goals we can

Coal Action from Mangatawhiri to Kanaky

On a warm Labour weekend Monday, Coal Action Auckland staged a roadside protest near the Waikato town of Mangatawhiri along State Highway 2 to draw people’s attention to the looming threat of a new coal mine adjacent this popular holiday route. The threat doesn't come from where you would expect though, not from the traditional mining companies you hear about, but Fonterra; the largest dairy co-operative in the world. At first glance it may appear strange that a dairy company wants to open a coal mine, but Fonterra, through a direct subsidiary; Glencoal, already operate many coal mines throughout the country. Fonterra use this coal in it's boilers, to produce powdered milk for export. This is where a large proportion of New Zealands carbon emissions come from. Glencoal has been granted consent to extract coal from the site for eight years, providing an additional 120,000 tonnes each year for Fonterra's milk drying plants at Waitoa, Te Awamutu and Hautapu. It's a

Stop the victimisation of union activists

Saturday's protest at Queen Street McDonald's was instigated because McDonald's sacked a union delegate for whistleblowing. In New Zealand we call it Utu, or "revenge"; the purge of delegates and prominent workers that we have come to expect after every successful union campaign. Well, no more. This stops now. Attacking and sacking union delegates for defending workers results in workers being left leaderless and defenseless against corporate victimisation. In the 1980's, corporate attacks on union delegates were systematic and remorseless. This meant that workers were unable to resist divisive individual contracts, resulting in the loss of benefits which took half a century to earn. Unions lost their spine, and all the poverty, inequality, crony capitalism and corporate terrorism that we have today is the result. These attacks stop here. Socialist Aotearoa is calling for the creation of a new campaign to protect and defend workplace union delegate

The art of revolution - Learning from Sun Tsu

Lessons for socialists, from The Art of War The Art of War  is frequently quoted by activists, but many on the Left shy away from actively grappling with the deeper lessons of this ancient text. Written in approximately 544 BC, The Art of War is a timeless treatise on the role of the General as protector of the State. However the principles expressed, and the systematic nature of Sun Tsu's arguments ultimately constitute a way of thinking, or a state of mind, rather than a literal set of prescriptions such as those of later scholars like Carl Von Clausevitz. It is this almost philosophical approach to the subject that makes it so useful and broadly applicable to almost any protracted conflict, including and especially activism and political struggle. "There is a proper season for making attacks with fire, and special days for starting a conflagration." Sun Tsu writes to "those preoccupied with the welfare of the State," and he begins at the beg