NZ Labour Letter February 2016, Vol. 7 No. 2


The New Zealand Labour Letter is provided as a service to Labour by AIL of New Zealand Ltd. 

National Labour News

KiwiRail is so strapped for cash that some lines are in a state of “managed decline” at a time when the road transport lobby is demanding more and bigger trucks on our roads, warned the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said numerous lines such as the Stillwater-Ngakawau, the Napier line and the Northland line are only being maintained to a standard that KiwiRail acknowledges will result in deterioration. “Discussions with KiwiRail and our union on a proposed change in the make-up of maintenance gangs led to management admitting this sorry state of affairs,” he said. Butson reported that other lines like the Wellington to Auckland North Island Main Trunk Line and the Picton to Invercargill South Island Main Trunk Line are only being cared for to a standard that will maintain their current state. “We are of the view that this is not good enough and our national railway network should be improved,” said Butson. “It beggars belief that in a modern 21st century developed economy we have a railway system that is funded in a manner that loads cost on the operator whilst the trucking industry does not pay the price for the environmental damage and congestion it causes.”


The online publication of the New Zealand Labour Letter is provided as a service to Labour by AIL of New Zealand Ltd. 

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Workers Voice Feb 6: TPPA - After the Marches and Blockades - where now for the Movement?

Workers Voice - Joe Carolan talks to Treaty rights activist Helen Te Hira, Real Choice Blockader Benjamin John and Socialist Stephen Hassan

Listen at Sound cloud

"Real Choice" organised protests against TPPA in Auckland Feb 4


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Locked out Wairoa Talley workers finally get justice

Yesterday’s Employment Court decision should see AFFCO Talley’s Wairoa locked out workers back at work in the next two weeks, says the NZ Meat Workers Union. 

“After five months of lockout and significant suffering for whanau and the small community of Wairoa, the Employment Court yesterday issued a judgement requiring the company to respect rights around seniority and re-engage these workers on the shift they would have been employed on had it not been for the Company’s misconduct” says Darien Fenton, Meat Workers Union Organising Director. 

“The Court also ruled that the company is breaching section 97 of the Employment Relations Act by employing replacement workers during a lockout. 


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Five reasons why workers should oppose the TPPA

There will be large protests this Thursday against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is due to be signed at Skycity.  The government is not allowing citizens to have a vote on this major change to our economy - referenda are only for flags. 

Why unions oppose the TPPA. 

1.       It strengthens corporate power

  • By giving foreign corporations in the TPPA the power to sue the New Zealand government in unaccountable offshore tribunals of corporate lawyers when their profits are threatened.
  • By giving foreign corporations the right to be consulted over changes New Zealand governments want to make.
  • By encouraging offshoring of production and jobs.


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Minimum wage to rise to at least $15 an hour

By Joe Carolan, Unite Organiser and  Co-Ordinator of Campaign for a Living Wage - $15ph now

After five years of strikes and struggles, a million conversations at gigs, workplaces and sports events that collected a quarter of a million voters signatures for a referendum petition, which quickly won 70% approval in mainstream news polls - on Tuesday the Government finally announced it would take the minimum wage above $15 an hour.


Joe Carolan left on 2009 picket to launch the campaign.

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TPPA:Don’t Sign – Fill the Auckland Town Hall tomorrow (Tues) 7pm

PM John Key and his National government say most Kiwis support the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and those who don’t are ignorant or manipulated.

Show him he’s wrong.

Help us to fill the Auckland Town Hall tomorrow, Tuesday 26th at 7pm in the first TPPA: Don’t Sign public meetings.


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Can we avert economic Armageddon

By Mike Treen, Unite National Director.

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

Big banks and mainstream economists are now predicting an economic disaster befalling the world economy over the next few years.

Some previous neo-liberal stalwarts of free-market capitalism are now demanding that the state intervenes to save capitalism from itself.


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Talleys/AFFCO blocks messages but your voice will be heard!


Yesterday we sent an urgent action appeal in response to brutal violations of basic rights by the anti-union New Zealand meat company Talleys/AFFCO. Many of you quickly responded, and the company has now blocked incoming messages. However your voice can stil be heard! We will now be collecting these messages for presentation to the company in the form of a petition and to share with the meatworkers union. If you have not yet sent a message, we hope you will take a moment to do so. If you received a notice of non-delivery and can use an alternative email address, please do so. We thank you for your solidarity and support - the message will get through!



Solidarity with New Zealand Meat Workers Union


Dear Sisters and Brothers, 

Talleys Group Ltd is a New Zealand company that has consistently sought to restrict and, wherever it can, eliminate union representation within its group of companies.

Many workers in its meat processing operations, AFFCO and South Pacific Meats, belong to the New Zealand Meat Workers Union (NZMWU). There is no union membership elsewhere within Talleys’ operations in fishing, food processing and dairy.


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Worker's Voice: System Change, Not Climate Change

Unite Union's Joe Carolan talks to Christine Rose and Jeremy Randerson about workers and the environment, and a New Left that demands System Change, not Climate Change. PLUS the Flag debate - down with the Butcher's Apron!

Listen to Workers Voice - the Unite Union radio show.

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