Tax professor calls for independent inquiry into how tax evaders and benefit fraudsters are treated by the justice system

By Jenée Tibshraeny

A tax expert is calling for an overhaul of the way we treat white collar criminals compared to benefit fraudsters.

Victoria University of Wellington Associate Professor of Taxation, Lisa Marriott, wants to see an independent inquiry undertaken into our justice system, further to her research highlighting the extent to which tax evaders are largely let off the hook, while benefit fraudsters are chased down and forced to repay every cent they’ve swindled.

She says $1.24 billion of tax was evaded in 2014, while just $33.55 million of welfare payments were defrauded.

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Working people mourn Helen Kelly – a statement from CTU president Richard Wagstaff


“Today New Zealand mourns the loss of union leader Helen Kelly. She was a fighter who died after a battle with cancer.

Helen died too young, and will always be remembered in our hearts, minds and on the frontlines of the fight for everyday working people.

Helen lived her commitment to fairness and justice every day. She was generous, creative, innovative, inspired and determined. She dreamed big and worked hard – and we’re a better country for her achievements.



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NZ Herald Editorial: Fast-food company steals a march on rivals

Workers at one of the country's biggest fast-food enterprises have reason to celebrate. Their employer, Restaurant Brands, struck a deal with the Unite Union in which workers' hours and shifts will be guaranteed on a permanent basis.

The new collective agreement moves from a formula in which hours were guaranteed at 80 per cent of those worked in the previous three months, to one in which all hours will be guaranteed and shifts fixed. The change affects hundreds of staff.

The listed franchise operator employs about 4000 people at 181 fast-food restaurants in New Zealand. Half the restaurants are KFC outlets and the rest are made up of Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carl's Jr stores.



Over half the staff of Restaurant Brands are members of Unite

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Labour Letter, October 2016

National Labour News

Airline unions expressed deep concern and shock over a series of recent laser strikes targeting flights near Auckland and Wellington airports. "We need to deal with the issue and we need to deal with it strongly" said the Airline Pilots' Association's, Tim Robinson. The flight attendants' union, E tū, condemned the act as “irresponsible and potentially lethal.” According to news reports, the strikes affected several international flights into Auckland September 30, as well as an Air New Zealand plane heading into Wellington the previous night. Helicopter pilots also reported being struck by a laser from the area, other media reported. The pilots in the Wellington incident were temporarily blinded, and though they landed safely, “the outcome could have been catastrophic,” said E tū's Director of Organising Aviation, Kelvin Ellis in a statement. “These strikes put everyone at risk, including the pilots, flight attendants and the general public”, said Kelvin. All landings are the most stressful time for flight crews, Kelvin explained, and landing at Wellington is “stressful enough without the risk of a laser strike.”

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McDonald's and BK are zero-hour cheats!

Restaurant Brands and Unite Union have amended their collective agreement to have workers' hours and shifts guaranteed permanently.
Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir says that this is a massive win for workers.
For the first time in decades workers in the fast food industry in New Zealand will have their shifts fixed permanently. No longer will their pay vary from week to week. As shifts become available, which happens frequently with staff turnover, workers will be able to build up their hours to the maximum they want to work each week. 
The passage of the law to ban zero hours contracts in New Zealand set the stage for this change to the negotiated. 
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Working people win another AFFCO legal action

Media release: Meat Workers Union

The Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal by AFFCO New Zealand Ltd against an Employment Court decision that AFFCO had unlawfully locked out members of the Meat Workers Union.

“Both the Employment Court and now the Court of Appeal have held that our members we’re unlawfully locked out by AFFCO. That judgment is a major step forward in advancing and protecting meat workers’ collective bargaining rights,” says Graham Cooke National Secretary of the Meat Workers’ Union (MWU).


Workers involved in the Affco court hearings

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TPP protestor police dragged by the hair calls for changes to police misconduct investigations

Unite Dunedin organiser Olive Mcrae being dragged by hair during anti-TPP protest
By Chelsea Daniels
(Reprinted from Newstalk ZB)
A Dunedin protester who was dragged by the hair by a police officer is calling for better investigations into police misconduct. 

Unite Union organiser Olive McRae was in Auckland taking part in a mass protest against the signing of the TPPA in February when the incident occurred.

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Government sets Tasers to stun for Migrant students


By Joe Carolan, Unite Union Organiser

The decision to deploy Police armed with Tasers against vulnerable Migrant Workers and students last night, and to physically bar migrants from what was billed as a public meeting with National 's "Indian community" MP,  tells you everything you need to know about their true nature behind the liberal show.  The "go back home to where you came from" comments from the rich old white Nats might have been a dead giveaway, however. 

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Auckland worker crushed to death by pallets

A police spokeswoman said a man had become trapped under pallets and died at the scene (Newshub.)

Reprinted from Newshub

A person has died after a stack of pallets fell on them at a workplace in the Auckland suburb of Penrose.

The incident happened at Toll Logistics on Neilson Street around 11:30am.

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Wage theft revealed - $35 million and counting!



Official information request reveals tip of the holiday pay iceberg

The Council of Trade Unions has received a response to an official information request revealing that at least $35 million has been paid in outstanding holiday paid to working Kiwis in 25 identified organisations.

“We know that this information is the tip of the iceberg," said CTU President Richard Wagstaff, "and that the government agency who is responsible for making sure employers stick to the law, simply doesn’t have the resourcing to identify all of the working people who haven’t been paid what they are due.

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