nursing-union-members-protest-outside-auckland-hospital-on-thursday-ahead-of-potential-strike-action-photo_jason-oxenham_nzhBy Martin Gregory

After a long slumber, the working class is awakening. In the first half of this year there was a smattering of industrial action, more than for years. The stirrings are hesitant. The actions, typically, limited to just hours or days. What more could we expect when it’s been decades since the unions used their now atrophied muscles? But this is the start of a revival. Young workers are tasting their power for the first time. They don’t carry the baggage of our defeats long ago. Today’s workers are learning valuable lessons from their first tentative actions that they will put to use tomorrow in bolder, more resolute strikes; strikes that win.

 

There has not been a strike at the Inland Revenue for 22 years, but on Monday PSA members there and at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment struck from 1pm to 3pm. This was a nation-wide strike involving over 4,000 workers. The biggest concentration was in the capital where about 500 marched. All around the country there were marches and rallies. The demands: across the board pay rises and an end to unfair pay systems that give management control over an individual’s pay. Another 2-hour stoppage is planned for 23 July. The PSA is currently handling a big increase in membership applications.

[Read More…]

Recent articles

José Carlos Mariátegui

By Romany Tasker-Poland José Carlos Mariátegui was born in Perú in 1894. While his father was of an old, elite family, José Carlos was raised in relative poverty by his mother and grandparents. Having had very little schooling, Mariátegui was apprenticed as a printer’s assistant at age 15. From these humble beginnings, he would go […]

Retail workers deserve a Living Wage

By Tara Dalefield   First Union members braved the chilly weather to attend simultaneous picket lines outsider Farmer’s stores in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch last week. The dozens of workers who showed up to the Queen Street on Farmer’s made their demands quite clear: a living wage, and an end to performance pay.  

Fair Pay Agreements: the good, the bad, and the ugly

By Martin Gregory   Out of all of Labour’s pre-election pledges the commitment to introduce Fair Pay Agreements sounded the most radical. Labour said FPAs would prevent a competitive ‘race to the bottom’ in pay and conditions – a laudable aim to be sure. FPAs would set basic terms and conditions across an industry. There […]

University of Otago shuts down free speech: students organise

by Guy McCallum and Andrew Tait   Sudden explosions of struggle can seem to come from nowhere. The last time Otago students rose up in any way, albeit a chaotic and apolitical way, was the last Undie 500 riot in 2010. Several hundred students at various parties in North Dunedin, sick of being provoked and […]

The Budget: a socialist response

“Budget 2018 sets out the first steps in a plan for transformation.” That’s how Grant Robertson introduced Labour’s first Budget. Hopes for transformation brought Labour, the Greens and NZ First into government last year. A glance around at the inequality, underfunding and social suffering that have become normalised after nine years of National shows how […]

Auckland students for a new university

By Gowan Ditchburn   The proposed closure of the specialist libraries at the University of Auckland has become an important and much discussed matter. High school students are informing their teachers about how the University of Auckland isn’t putting enough money towards its libraries, something it appears the university’s Vice Chancellor, Stuart McCutchen hasn’t grasped […]

Health workers make their voices heard

  Thousands rallied across the country last weekend to show their support for health workers in their campaign for better pay and conditions. There were gatherings of several hundred in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and rallies in cities all across the country. From Greymouth to Gisborne people came out to stand in solidarity with […]

The struggle for Ihumātao

By Tania Te Hira-Mathie     Located in Māngere, South Auckland, Ihumātao is Auckland’s oldest settlement and one of New Zealand’s most important historic archaeological sites. This site, northwest of Auckland airport, has been part of a long struggle to save Māori land. Ihumātao is the largest remaining intact gardening site found in New Zealand. […]

From the archive

Anzac Day: Against the Carnival of Reaction

mobiliseagainstthewarOn Anzac Day 1967, at the height of New Zealand involvement in the ‘American War’ in Vietnam, with New Zealand troops taking part in the suppression of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, members of the Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch tried to lay a wreath following the dawn service in memory of those killed by imperialism in Vietnam. They were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour. Feminists a decade later faced down a media-driven public outcry when they laid wreaths to the victims of sexual violence during war.

Lest we forget? It’s more like lest we remember. Anzac Day serves as a carnival of nationalist reaction, a day of public ritual aimed at promoting forgetting: forgetting the real legacy of New Zealand imperialism and militarism in favour of a sentimental nationalism, an anti-political celebration of national unity. [Read More…]