Archives for posts with tag: community struggle

About a month back, just after the proposed changes to the ERA were announced, an emergency rally was held at Cathedral Square. This was called by a local Unite organiser and was reasonably well attended despite the short notice. Approximately 50 people were present ranging from union officials, delegates, rank and file, community activists and other concerned members of the public.

An organising meeting was called for the Monday after, which was again, well attended with about 40-50 people present. This meeting was well facilitated by the Unite organiser and everyone present were involved in discussions and decision making. The layout of the room was a large circle which enabled everyone to face each other and participate. The only negatives were a rant by an EPMU official, who went on about how much work he’d done to get the first rally organised and how if it wasn’t for him it would have been a complete failure. There was also murmurings by an official of the SFWU about support for Labour.

Another organising meeting was called for the following Monday and a decision was made to hold a protest rally on Sunday 8th on the corner of High St and Hereford, outside KFC. After this meeting members of Beyond Resistance and the Workers Party had some conversations about concerns that the union officials and the CTU would use this fight back as an opportunity to campaign for Labour. Also that the CTU would want to control any fight back. It was decided that members of Beyond Resistance would attend the next Workers Party meeting to organise as an anti-capitalist presence within the fight back.

So the next Monday two members of Beyond Resistance attended a Workers Party meeting, which was before the fight back organising meeting. It was decided to use the ‘Workers rights campaign’ [loose coalition of anti-capitalist groups formed after the 90 day bill was first announced by Wayne Mapp (ya bill is crap)] as a vehicle to organise from an anti-capitalist perspective. It was also decided that Beyond Resistance and Workers Party would organise a public meeting with four speakers, to present an anti-capitalist analyisis and discussion.

Then the organising meeting. It had been pre planned by union officials. The layout of the room was different, a panel of union officials facing everyone else as an audience. Everyone was told of the plan for the protest rally by the EPMU official and then a guest Australian union official/labour party candidate spoke about a campaign waged in Australia by unions and sections of the wider society against industrial law changes, that in his words, helped bring down the Howard Government. He also talked about the need for the ‘bottom up'(grassroots) to work with the ‘top down'(union bureaucracy, Labour Party). The bottom up for donkey work and the top down for finances and direction/decisions. There was no real opportunity for input by those present and it appeared as though the decisions about the protest had already been made. The next meeting was called  a ‘more dui less Hui’ working bee to make banners and placards.

The protest rally on Sunday 8th was reasonably well attended with about 100 people present. There was about 10 minutes of speakers, then union officials attempted to rap it all up and go home. At this point members of Beyond Resistance put the question to the assembly of 100 or so. Do people want to march? There was an overwelming ‘yes’ and so a march through parts of town proceeded. People joined the march on route and militant chants were hollered by the marching mass, ‘This is Class War — Smash the Anti-Worker Laws’ being a favourite. Flyers were handed out about the Public meeting organised for the following week.

The public meeting was well attended with speakers from Unite, Workers Party, Beyond Resistance and an advocate who dealt with workplace greviences. There was about 50 present and after informative talks by the four speakers some great discussions followed. Plans have been made for the CTU 21st rally where an anti-capitalist bloc will lead a march after the rally, taking people on a tour of organisations offices who support of the Governments proposed changes to the ERA i.e. business community and politians. Information flyers will also be handed out as will flyers advertising a film for the following Saturday, where the Workers Party and Beyond Resistance will be screening the Australian film ‘Rocking the Foundations’ (about the BLF in Sydney in the 70’s). Another thing that came out of this meeting was a need for on-going activities, from educational events to protests and industrial action. Regular meetings are planned for the future.

What has also occured is that the organising by the CTU/union officials has divided itself from all others interested in organising around a fight back against the ERA changes. The CTU has shut out any others from participating in their organising in Christchurch and it is rumoured that meetings have been taking place between union officials and the Labour Party. It is possible that the Unite organisers have also not been privy to the CTU’s formal meetings here, however this has not been confirmed.

What is clear is that from the first emergency rally and meeting until now a split has occurred between the local CTU affiliated union officials, and everyone else who have wished to attend meetingsand be involved in organising a fight back against the Governments proposed changes to the ERA.

The battle continues…

NATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST: Saturday August 21st.

MARCH: Meet outside Alice in Videoland at 12.30PM

RALLY: Cathedral Square at 1PM

The National Government recently announced a series of new attacks on workers across New Zealand. The raft of proposed changes to the anti-worker Employment Relations Act (ERA, brought in by the previous Labour Government in 2000) and the Holidays Act will serve to further cut job security, wages and conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers in both the public and private sectors.

What are the changes? Read them here: https://beyondresistance.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/workers-set-to-face-more-attacks/ 

JOIN THE PROTEST!

We will be marching to the rally from Alice in Videoland at 12.30pm. Join the march, bring some noise! Please forward widely!

Download the poster here:  http://zinelibrary.info/files/August_21_Protest.pdf

Ready to print PDF flyer on the proposed changes to the ERA and what we can do to fight them. Double-sided A4 with space for your own contact/website details.

Dowload it here: http://zinelibrary.info/90-day-fire-will-changes-employment-law-what-we-can-do-fight-them-nz

Thanks to AWSM for the text. Design by Jared Davidson.

Please print and distribute widely!

A protest against National’s Anti-Worker Laws will be taking place this Sunday 8th August at 12 noon, on the corner of Colombo St and Hereford St.

Home to fast food outlets, retail stores and hotels (industries which house staff that are most at risk from the proposed legislation) we plan to bring a lot of noise and enthusiasm to the event, with stories from the workers themselves and reactions from various officials and commentators.

Bring a friend, a banner and some noise!

There will also be a Public Meeting on Thursday 12th August at the WEA (7PM). There are four speakers who will be sharing knowledge about the law changes, how they’ve already effected workers (22% percent of all workers fired since it was introduced were fired in the first 90 days), and possible ways to resist them. Jointly organised by the Workers Party and Beyond Resistance: it should be quite good.

WHAT ARE THE CHANGES? Info about the law changes are here: https://beyondresistance.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/workers-set-to-face-more-attacks/