Unite cinema delegates like other workers were hoping for a change in government
By Mike Treen, Unite National Director
(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)
Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election.
There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana that contributed to the defeat. Each party needs to have a discussion on what those were.
However, the defeat was the product of objective conditions in the first instance.
We had a unified right wing that knew the importance of strategic voting. National got two bonus MP’s in Epsom (Act Party) and Ohariu (United Future) and helped defeat Internet-Mana by urging a Labour vote in Te Tai Tokerau. John Key urged a vote for the Labour candidate to defeat Hone Harawira and so also stopped him bringing in at least one more left MP on the list.
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) – the only independent union in China – has called for workers to strike in support of the democracy movement as mass civil disobedience actions come under heavy police attack. The Swire Beverages (Coca-Cola) union and the HKCTU unions of school teachers and dockers are striking and will be joined by other member unions.
Tensions have been building in Hong Kong since the August 31 government announcement that candidates for the position of Chief Executive would have to be vetted and approved by a pro-business, pro-Beijing committee.
The protests, originally organized by the students’ federation and the Occupy Central coalition, have drawn increasing numbers of supporters. The mainland government has harshly condemned the protestors’ demands and the "illegal" protests.
On September 28, the HKCTU declared "we cannot let the students fight alone", and called for workers to strike in support of 4 demands: the immediate release of all the arrested, an end to the suppression of peaceful assembly, replacing the "fake universal suffrage" formula with the genuine political reform workers have been demanding, and the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying.
The HKCTU has been the backbone of the democracy movement, before and following Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. Their courageous action deserves the support of trade unions everywhere.
Use the link below to send a message to the Hong Kong Chief Executive in support of the democratic movement and the strikers’ demands!
Gender-based violence in the workplace is a pernicious and global labor and human rights violation that particularly impacts women, their well-being, and their participation in the economy and society.
Whether occurring at the actual place of work or on the way to and from work, it can take on multiple forms, including:
- Physical abuse, including assault, battery, attempted murder and murder
- Sexual violence including rape and sexual assault
- Verbal abuse and threats of violence
- Psychological abuse and intimidation
- Sexual harassment
- Threats of violence
- Economic and financial abuse
Worldwide, 35% of women have experienced violence, and 40 to 50% of women experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work.1
This global problem demands a global response. Trade unions are calling for a new international Convention on gender-based violence at the workplace, and are using their voice at the International Labour Organization’s Governing Body (ILO GB) to put the topic on the agenda of the International Labour Conference (ILC). The ILC is where international labour standards get negotiated and agreed upon by employers, governments and workers. A proposal is currently pending before the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to develop an international standard to guide governments and businesses on developing strong laws and policies to prevent and remedy the problem. Developing an international standard will promote global equality and foster safer workplaces.
You can take action now to support women workers’ rights and stand against gender-based violence at work, by urging Coca-Cola, Disney and Procter & Gamble — leaders in the United States Council for International Business — to support the call at the ILO Governing Board in November 2014 to put a standard-setting conversation on gender-based violence in the world of work on the agenda of the International Labour Conference.
Add your voice here.
International Labor Rights Forum
By Shanna Olsen-Reeder, Hotels organiser for Unite Union
Have you ever heard a Manager or person of ‘authority’ say something bad about the union? We hear whispers about it all the time. But why do employers say these things?
Are they right or wrong? Let’s look at some of the common things our members report hearing from their bosses.
They say: “Why would you join a union? The union doesn’t do anything.”
We say: “Our union is run by our members. We follow their direction and they are our boss! We work with individual members to solve their problems on site. We negotiate employment agreements for groups of workers. We educate our members and delegates on employment law and their rights at work. We have also run nationwide campaigns to get rid of youth rates, raise the minimum wage, and get better laws to benefit workers. Anyone who says the union ‘doesn’t do anything’ must not be watching the news when we are on it getting the job done!”
They say: “The union doesn’t put bread and butter on the table. It’s a waste of money. You can’t afford it, even if you get a pay rise the non-union people will get it anyway.”
We say: “46% percent of New Zealanders did not get a pay rise last year. 98% of union members did. Being union guarantees you a representative bargaining for your pay rise. Being non-union doesn’t guarantee you anything. Your Employer isn’t doing you favour by paying you a wage. You are making millions for the company and their shareholders and they are giving you a tiny portion of that in return.
On September 4, 2014 9 Rockford and Peoria the US, fast food workers were arrested engaging in civil disobedience because of commitment to do whatever it takes to win $15 and a union without retaliation.