A Victory in the Long March for Equal Pay

kristine-smallAnother legal victory has been chalked up for equal pay and it is a big one. On 28 October the Court of Appeal delivered its judgement on the appeal by Terranova Homes against the Employment Court’s decision in favour of Kristine Bartlett’s case for equal pay. Two courts now have ruled that Terranova Homes, and by implication many other employers, are breaching the 1972 Equal Pay Act. The point of contention is whether a predominantly female workforce should be paid the same rates as a comparable predominantly male workforce working with the same levels of skills, effort, and responsibility. Terranova pay their women workers the same as their handful of men workers. This does not help the women as the men are paid a pittance as well. [Read more…]

Solidarity with Mexican Students

Acapulco protests

Photograph: Eduardo Verdugo/AP

Dear students and families of the Ayotzinapa Normal School:

It is with deep sorrow that we learnt of the terrible events of September 26 this year, when three students of your school were assassinated, and 43 were kidnapped by the municipal police of Iguala and Cucula, and handed over to a criminal group.

Those comrades, your sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends, are now martyrs of a cause we share with you from the distance of the other side of the ocean.

They were building a fairer future, they were fighting for social justice and they were progressing on it, they were achieving it step by step. That is why the authority was afraid of them, and sent the police to repress them, because they were making a difference. But the power of the richn and their corruption will never stop the voices of justice. Especially if it’s carried by those who dare to dream and the youth who fight for freedom, like the dear and beautiful disappeared students.

From here, thousands of kilometres away, we send you all of our solidarity and we assure you are not alone. Your loss is also our loss, and our hearts are also sad for those 46 students, who will be for ever in our memories as the seeds of freedom.

We demand justice for these events. We demand that the responsible be processed under the justice and sentenced as they deserve to be – be they mayors and policeman, legal authorities and criminal groups.
And to you, we beg you not to surrender. Your fight is our fight, and is just and true.


International Socialist Organisation.

March Against New Zealand’s Shame

DSC_0649600 – 700 people marched against domestic violence, ending at parliament, today. The march was a uniting call to action to address sexual and domestic violence. There were other protests on this issue throughout the country, with the one at parliament the largest by far.

The Facebook page for the event described it as follows: Women’s Refuge, Te Ohaakii a Hine-National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together, Shakti, Relationships Aotearoa, The Pacific Islands Safety and Prevention Project, National Network of Stopping Violence Services and the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Supervised Contact Services joined together to organise the march because they see the profound social and economic impact of sexual and domestic violence in their daily work and believe it’s time to act now. [Read more…]

Wellington McDonald’s workers standing strong

Photo Credit: Damon Rusden

Photo Credit: Damon Rusden

Members of our Wellington branch were proud this morning to stand in solidarity with Unite union members striking for a living wage at McDonald’s. McDonald’s makes hefty profits, but its workers, on casual contracts, are paid minimum wages.

The strike was solid – union members on a morning shift came out, and were joined by supporters from the union movement. It was great to see flags and banners from the NZNO (the nurses’ union), First Union, and the Tertiary Education Union.
McDonalds is using bullying and intimidation to try and scare workers out of standing up for themselves. We saw that this morning. At one stage the store even sent people to hand out free vouchers to commuters leaving the railway station! But the strike stayed solid.
Unionised McDonald’s workers are an inspiration to us all.
More pictures below the fold:

Forestry bosses have blood on their hands

NorthTec_Forestry13 forestry workers have died in work related accidents in the past 3 years, 30 in the last 6 years. Just to put this in perspective the death rate in the UK forestry industry is 10.4 per 100,000 workers and in NZ 343 per 100,000. Some bosses blame workers drug use and call for increased drug testing but there no amount of excuses can justify this outrageous number of fatalities. We need explanations, and the forestry bosses need to be held to account for all these needless deaths.

[Read more…]

The Tragedy at Pike River: an Indictment of Capitalism

It’s just sickening to read reports of the royal commission’s findings on the Pike River disaster. 29 men lost their lives – and have left behind grieving families and friends – in what was an entirely preventable, and predictable, tragedy. The lawyer for some of the families involved calls it an “unrelenting picture of failure at virtually every level”: warning after warning about the build-up of methane gas was ignored, workers’ concerns were ignored, dangerous techniques kept up. All for Pike River Coal’s drive for profit.

[Read more…]

Auckland bus drivers’ spirit prevails over dead hand of union bureaucrats

At a mass meeting Auckland bus drivers working for NZ Bus Ltd had thrown out a pay deal recommended to them by the First Union and the Tramways Union, and the drivers were set to strike on Monday, September 24, and every Monday thereafter. Every socialist and trade unionist should be aware of what happened next and of the full story of the drivers’ dispute so far.

[Read more…]

Low paid women in revolt: Nationalise Oceania!

Low paid aged care workers at Oceania homes have been driven to revolt. Members of the Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota and nurses in the NZNO first struck on 1st March, and again on 7th. Stopwork meetings took place on 14th March and strikes on the 19th and again on 5th April. Staffs at more and more of Oceania’s 57 homes have joined in the action as the campaign has worn on. Joint union spokesperson Alistair Duncan has explained:

[Read more…]