Archive | January, 2015

NZ Labour Letter

12 Jan

Produced by AIL NZ for the labour movement of New Zealand

January 2015, Vol. 6 No. 1


National Labour News

NZ Meat Workers Union launched a national campaign to highlight job insecurity within the meat industry. The union said in a statement that it will call on ‘Jobs that Count‘ for workers in the industry in an effort to help alleviate some of the major pressures meat workers face both financially and in the workplace. More than 20,000 meat workers provide labour for the industry "yet their job security is on more shaky ground than ever," the union said. Union National Secretary, Graham Cooke explained, "Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. As if that’s not enough, the Government’s recent Employment Law changes mean meat workers will face a tougher time settling collective agreements and earning a decent living." He said the union understands the industry faces challenges, "but we don’t believe workers and their families should pay the price." The Council of Trade Unions put its clout behind the campaign, citing a CTU report which found that at least 30 per cent of New Zealand workers are in insecure work.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand welcomed ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention by the National Government. The union called The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) a "seafarers bill of rights." The MLC is an international treaty adopted by the International Labour Organisation which lays out minimum rights for seafarers and promotes good employment practices across the shipping industry. The union has been pushing for years for New Zealand to be a signatory. "Most developed nations including Australia are signed up to the MLC and it was an anomaly that New Zealand was not," said Maritime Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood. "The Maritime Union works with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to recover wages and deal with crew welfare issues. We note that this work is done by the unions, not by the Government, and we deal with constant issues on flag of convenience vessels on the New Zealand coast," he explained. "The deregulated approach to this and other aspects of the maritime industry has been recognised as a failure, so now the move is back towards proper oversight of the industry by Government." He also expressed thanks to Business New Zealand for supporting ratification.

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Bolivia, South Africa and Cuba – three victories for the left & labour movements

9 Jan


“Cuban Five” together again after final three released

Three events in December mark high points for the international socialist and working class movement in the struggle to free humanity from the interlinked scourges of capitalism and climate change.

Firstly we have the leadership shown by President of Bolivia Evo Morale’s speech to the COP20 summit on climate change in Lima, Peru. He explained clearly that environmental destruction is a result of the capitalist system when he declared: “Sisters and brothers, we cannot have a climate agreement that condemns Mother Earth and humanity to death in order to favour Capital, the enrichment of a few and predatory consumerist growth. We are here to develop a climate agreement for life, and not for business and capitalist commercialism.”

The COP20 declaration at the end of the summit was condemned by the climate justice movement as failing humanity and the planet. Immediately following the COP20 gathering Bolivia and it’s allies in ALBA – the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America – Trade Treaty of the Peoples (ALBA-TCP)[1] met in Havana for a summit.

Addressing the ALBA Summit in Havana, Evo Morales proposed that “faced with the failure in Lima” ALBA’s environment minsters should work to organise a “world encounter of social movements” that would develop “a proposal to save life and humanity.” This proposal was endorsed and is a profound and radical step that will energise the climate justice movement internationally. It continues Bolivia’s leadership role on this question over the past decade.

The second important development is is the declaration by a united front of organisations brought together by the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA). In the words of the final declaration:

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Saturday, Jan 10th: Join Cuban Ambassador to celebrate return of Cuban Five. 6pm, Maritime Club, Anzac Ave.

7 Jan

CELEBRATE THE FREEDOM

OF THE CUBAN FIVE!

SPECIAL GUEST: MARIA DEL CARMEN HERRERA, CUBA’S AMBASSADOR TO NEW ZEALAND

Maritime Club, 68 Anzac Ave, central Auckland

Speeches, music, snacks, cash bar

Sat, January 10

6pm-9pm

Organised by the Cuba Friendship Society

Email cubafriends.ak

Phone Ina (09)303 1755, Malcolm 021 151 7887

Please feel free to send a message if you cannot come to this celebration.

Thanks to the Maritime Union of NZ for use of their venue.