Category Archives: Workers Solidarity

National Day of Action – No Asset Sales in Aotearoa

Saturday 14th July saw cities across the country unite in opposition to National’s state owned asset sales which have been steam rolled through Parliament under “urgency”. Christchurch saw several hundred take to the streets to demand a halt to the National Party’s austerity measures. The government have been busy justifying cuts in public services, anti union law changes, pay freezes and beneficiary bashing under the guise of nationwide deficits and the global crises ever since it took office four years ago. The smoke and mirrors are faltering and National’s ratings are finally beginning to drop. If this weekend’s event has anything to prove it’s this: “The summer in Otautahi is going to be a hot and eventful one”.

Note worthy comments came from CAFCA – Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa. Spokesperson Muray Horton reminded us that we should be very wary of the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The “free trade” agreement is currently under negotiation between NZ and 8 other countries, including the U.S. which is being sold as a great oportunity but in reality will be a straight jacket on domestic law. What few labour laws remain will be wiped as the TPPA partners demand markets to be prized open and legislation to be put firmly in the hands of big business interests.

Much to the disdain of attending labour party supporters Muray remarked on Roger Douglass’ influence during the past 30 years. Deregulation, public wealth given to private speculators and an errosion of our communities all seem to have been forgotten by the current generation of Labourites.  Almost all Western democracies are being attacked by cuts and austerity – regardless of what colour tie or badge the politician happens to be wearing – they are all doing the same to the people they supposedely represent. The CAFCA spokesperson had momentarially broke the social amnesia that has gripped the left in this country. Labour MP Megan Woods spoke immediately after Muray which only served to highlight the blustering and chest beating of Labour who all of a sudden seem to think asset sales and the plight of the workers and unemployed as something that is bad. Fancy that!

Hats off to event organiser Sharna Butcher – Really Great Job!!!

TC3 Residents have organised and are taking their fight to the streets:
O.S.N have just received this;

BIG NEWS – Fix our Homes along with Wecan will be holding a rally “EQC/insurance – the man made disaster” on 5 August . It will be held in town (location being confirmed) accumulating in a unique petition being driven to Wellington. More details to follow. If you are serious about your involvement and are committed to this cause please commit to meeting this Saturday at 3pm to discuss the logistics (location also to be confirmed). This situation will not be rectified without people power – this is our time to say enough is enough. But we need your involvement. We cannot win this battle on our own. Details will be updated on our facebook page TC3 residents.

Their facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/100420550099634/

Our friends at recomposition have just re-publishsed a great article on the phenoena sweeping Canada and the States – The Flying Squad

Recently much interest and discussion has been generated by the emergence of union flying squads in Ontario. Flying squads — rapid response networks of workers that can be mobilized for strike support, demonstrations, direct action and working class defense of immigrants, poor people, and unemployed workers — present a potentially significant development in revitalizing organized labor activism and rank-and-file militancy.

Here are organizations with rank-and-file participation working to build solidarity across unions and locals and alongside community groups, engaging in direct action while striving to democratize their own unions. No wonder then that the re-appearance of flying squads in Ontario, in a context of halting resistance to a vicious neoliberal attack, notably among some sectors of the labor movement, has been cause for much excitement.

Full article can be found here: http://recomposition.info/2012/07/12/developing-workers-autonomy-an-anarchist-look-at-flying-squads/

Photo’s supplied from local photographers at:

http://asstdgoodies.blogspot.co.nz/  &

http://threechairsnzlimited.blogspot.co.nz/

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Sol Fed Victory, Independent Media, Mass Protest & EQC’s final straw…

Developments are coming in thick and fast –  our friends in the UK secure a massive victory, Aotearoa Independent Media produce a wonderful perspective on the latest beneficiary bashing and we may now be witnessing the next wave of opposition to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Association  and Earthquake Commission – it’s all go and we wanted to spend a moment to summarise the latest:

The Solidarity Federation in the UK is a long standing revolutionary union affiliated with the International Workers Association. The organisation practices many of the same tactics and ideas as O.S.N and have secured numerous victories over the years. Check their site and make sure you read the latest issue of Direct Action – a long established paper that has offered a fresh perspective on this mad World of ours.

The Solidarity Federation’s latest victory is against the British Government’s recent austerity measures. Known as “Workfare”, the scheme is essentially forcing beneficiaries to work for free. Workfare is what we would have once described as slavery and it appears to be alive and well on British shores. Sol Fed and their supporters took to the streets and picketed ‘Holland and Barrett’ a large retail chain that was taking full advantage of the scheme. The chain fell to mounting pressure and have now pulled out of the scheme! Check out the full story here: www.solfed.org.uk

     “You know I can’t have your ghost chips jobs”. Aotearoa Independent Media have just put out their latest release. Entitled “No jobs, just harassment” the authors have looked at the official numbers and shone light on the dirty games played by Government’s past and present. Beneficiaries have always been a favourite for the right to justify their nastiest policies, Key and Bennett are no different. Their latest scheme is to introduce the Job Seeker Support scheme –

Penalise the poor

There has been a concerted campaign by the right to demonise beneficiaries. Since the days of Ruth Richardson, the environment of Work and Income (formerly Social Welfare) has been very punitive. It is likely to become increasingly so with the introduction of these new benefits. People will be forced into long stand-down periods before they can receive a benefit, attendance at pointless courses, required to report in, and subjected to birth control advice from case managers.

The mass media has contributed significantly to constructing a paradigm in which beneficiaries are depicted as lazy and deceitful. The stereotype of the DPB mum is even more viciously constructed: it is a racist, woman-hating portrait that bears little resemblance to the average DPB recipient’s life. It is in this environment that punishing the poor for being poor becomes widely acceptable.

Full article can be found here: www.indymedia.org.nz

March Against Asset Sales- Across the country huge protests have been taking place. Video footage from Auckland shows 1000’s taking to the streets yet mainstream media have remained dormant. For anyone following the Occupy Movement this should come as no great surprise – millions globally have taken a stand against what has been daubed the age of austerity and the silence from so-called ‘journalists’ has been deafening. In Christchurch a march has been planned for Saturday July 14th from 2pm. Meet at intersection of Deans Ave and Riccarton Road, to rally and march up Riccarton Road – ending at Shand Crescent park. Otautahi Solidarity Network will be there in support of the nationwide day of protest. There facebook event page can be found here: Stop the Theft

The Goal Posts Change Yet Again?! Home owners could have to pay as much as $115,000 up front for earthquake repairs because the Earthquake Commission has changed its payment rules. If you refuse to accept the EQR/Fletcher’s deal (putting you into the black hole of unreturned calls, endless red tape and uncertainty) you now have to put your money where your mouth is. The system before this latest announcement allowed home owners to get a quote from a builder, have it verified by EQC and the money would be put to the builder. Now the home owner is left to fend for themselves with no idea when the money may be reimbursed. Who has spare cash like that?!

“My mum is 80; she’s never going to get a mortgage for $50,000. Elderly people and most families can’t afford the repayments, and if they could, who’s going to pay the interest?”

Main said she had heard of poor workmanship from Fletchers and had a good repairer lined up to do the work.

“With Mum, I though it would be nice to get it sorted out in her lifetime. I don’t want to go to Fletchers and I’ve been mucked around by them before. I plan to battle the Government on this one.” Full story here.

Yet again it is the most vulnerable that have been thrown to the lions. Reaction to this latest development have been steeped in anger and disgust. Fresh protest and pickets are on the cards and O.S.N will be at the forefront of supporting individuals and communities prepared to take a stand. Our contact details can be found at the top of the blog page.

Let us know your thoughts…

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The ANZCO unhappy meal – Support the CMP workers!

Since the 19th October 111 union members and their families have been without work and wages while their bosses have demanded they accept 20% pay cuts and changes in their hours –  the small community of Rangitikei (Near Palmerston North) are effectively being starved out.

As locked out worker Steve McGinity told the Manawatu Standard: “We’re not just doing this for our kids, we’re doing it for all meat workers and for all kiwis who are facing attacks on their work rights.”

Among numerous unsung hero’s, the unions, workers activist groups such as Beyond Resistance and Occupy’s (including our very own Occupy Otautahi) have supplied food, support at the picket line and donated much needed funds. See the article below for details on recent actions in our city.

Saturday 3rd December promises to be an important date for the locked out Canterbury Meat Packer workers. ANZCO, which owns and operates CMP, happens to supply it’s meat patties to a well known brand of fast food restaurants. McDonald’s NZ is CMP’s biggest contract and with CMP rejecting the workers latest offer of a 10% pay cut and petitions, lobbying and press releases getting us nowhere, it’s now time to take to the streets.

On Saturday pickets are taking place across the country, a call out by CTU coordinator Simon Oosterman has so far confirmed 16 stores nationwide – from Invercargill all the way to Whangarei – that will be hit from 11am onwards.

  Here in Christchurch, Riccarton McDonald’s will be our store of choice. Located on the corner of Riccarton Rd and Matipo, we’ll kick off from 11am. For those keen to join a march to the store meet at South Hagley Park, next to the hospital at 10.00am. The march will head up through Riccarton Rd where we hope to encourage passers by to join us and spread the word of the CMP lockout.

The aim of the picket is to raise awareness, ask people to choose somewhere else for their lunch, gather some much needed funds and get some media attention on this desperate story. You can help by sharing this post, telling your mates and getting yourself to this important day of action.

We’ll see you there!

CMP ANZCO Solidarity Picket – 11.00am, Saturday 3rd December,

Riccarton Rd Mcdonalds (corner of Matipo and Riccarton Rd),

Pre event march – 10.00am, Saturday 3rd Decmber,

South Hagley Park, Opposite Hospital – to – Riccarton Rd McDonald’s 

          If you’re based outside of Otautahi/Christchurch and want to find out where your local picket is simply click on this facebook event page. If your outside of Aotearoa, help by spreading this story as far and as wide as you can, the CMP crew need everything we can muster.

News of this event and the ongoing story will continue to flow from the O.S.N blog.

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