UNITE union headquarters has been smashed into and ransacked in what seems to be a politically motivated attack. UNITE have lead the charge in organising the recent Global Day of Fast Food Action in Aotearoa, organising marches in Auckland and Wellington, and other centres. They have got the fast food bosses running with their campaign to end zero hours in New Zealand.
We condemn this attack absolutely. Its target is the whole workers’ movement – our response should be the old slogan ‘touch one, touch all.’
The robbery happened Wednesday night – the night after their big mobilisation against McDonald’s refusal to negotiate an end to zero hour contracts. McDonald’s has since come to the table and negotiations are on-going.
“All the files were rifled through, all of our electronic equipment was taken … Any locked doors were kicked in and they stole a lot of the benefits and vouchers we had won for our members,” says UNITE organiser Joe Carolan.
“A lot of people are speculating that it’s very unusual that would happen to us at this moment in time, where we have a bit of a profile in the media for some of the campaign work we’ve been doing for zero hours.”
Mr Carolan says he’s since spoken to people who believe the union has recently made a lot of “wealthy”, “dangerous enemies”.
The International Socialist Organisation offers our solidarity and support to UNITE in this time. We condemn any form of violence in or against the workers’ movement. This is a politically motivated attack designed to intimidate and harass the union and its members for launching a successful and inspiring union action.
We must celebrate their struggle against Zero Hour Contracts and celebrate this campaign – UNITE has engaged their workers, heard their struggles, fought for them at the bargaining table and most importantly has never shied away from strike action – the real power of workers. This militancy shows its effectiveness in this campaign. The corporates are worried because of UNITE’s success in showing workers their real power.
UNITE are calling for donations to cover the costs of damaged and stolen goods. We urge all trade unionists and leftists to make a donation in support.
Yours in solidarity
For the National Committee, International Socialist Organisation