Support Christmas Island detainees - protest outside Australian Consultate 1pm Wednesday

A prisoner uprising is currently underway in one of the Australian detention camps located on Christmas Island.

The camp population is a mix of asylum seekers and New Zealanders being forcibly removed from Australia following a term in prison there.

One of the prisoners told Radio New Zealand that they faced being beaten and killed by the guards. "They don’t hold back, if they come in here they’re gonna hurt us without a doubt. We’re not thinking that they won’t, we know 100% that they’re gonna come in and try to hurt us, so we’re just sick of it. It’s abuse, it’s torture, it’s time that we took a stand."

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Iranian Kurdish refugee Fazel Chegeni has been found dead following his escape from Christmas Island Detention Centre on Friday. A riot has broken out following his death

 

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Kiwi prisoner speaks out: “It's abuse, it's torture, it's time that we took a stand.”

Transcript of a Radio NZ interview November 9, 2015, with a Kiwi prisoner on Christmas Island, an Australian Immigration detention centre, after prisoners seized control of the facility following the death of an Iranian refugee.

Protests need to be organised in Australia and New Zealand to stop a bloodbath against prisoners simply asserting their humanity.

RNZ: Hi there

Hi, how's it going?

Good, now tell us what's going on with you. What's happening right now?

Basically the detainees have taken control of the detention centre and we're sort of just waiting for a response. We don't know what's going to happen next and it's not like we've got anywhere to go so we've kind of just made our own little home on the island, I guess. Been waiting for the reaction of the immigration and border force to do what they have to do.

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Subway's sub-standard approach to zero hours shows why Minister needs to do what he promised

They go to great lengths to ensure the products are made to an exacting standard but it seems when it comes to using zero hours most fast food franchises just don’t care what happens in their stores and don’t want to know. 

Unite Union, which earlier this year negotiated the end of zero-hour contracts at four major fast food chains, wrote to over seventeen other chains in New Zealand to ask them whether their franchisees used zero-hour contracts and to request meetings to discuss their employment arrangements. Even after following up the original letter most companies did not respond.

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TPPA Exposed: Don’t Sign - Nationwide protests Nov 14

The government today released the almost final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The lengthy delay has raised questions about whether the Ministers really knew what it was they were signing. It is already 30 days since Trade Ministers concluded the agreement, and there are still further adjustments to be made. 

“The belated release of this TPPA document agreed by Trade Ministers a month ago is a shameful reminder of the secrecy, spin and corporate deal-making that has characterised this shabby deal,” said It’s our Future spokesperson coalition, Barry Coates. 

 

After six years of secrecy, the government is still refusing to release the analysis and background documents.

 

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Robert Reid: Zero hour contracts could be here to stay

By Robert Reid, General Secretary, First Union

(Reprinted from The New Zealand Herald)

It seems Employment Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse is making an art of the political U-turn.

This is the Minister who, after promising to strengthen health and safety law, introduced a Bill that weakened it. This is the same Minister who, after voting against Easter trading changes in 2012, has introduced a Bill that makes very similar changes to the ones he voted against.

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Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse breaks promises on
Campbell Live to end zero-hour contracts

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A bit too casual

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Fast-food worker David Cannon has experienced the pitfalls of casual work. 

By Shane Gilchrist on Mon, 26 Oct 2015.

(Reprinted from the Otago Daily Times)

Labour Day may be less of a moment to celebrate hard-won workers' rights of the past, and more an opportunity to reflect on where they have gone. Shane Gilchrist reports.

It's been a few years since David Cannon approached his bank for a loan so he could pay for repairs to his car yet, clearly, the episode still rankles.

''I was on a zero-hours contract, so the bank refused me because I had no guaranteed income,'' the Roslyn KFC worker recalls, adding he had to ask his father to act as guarantor.

''I was 26. I had been working for Restaurant Brands since the age of 21 so that would have been five years of employment, but ...

''I worked up to 35 hours a week, but there were weeks where I'd only get 10 hours.'' 

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Seasonal and other workers affected by WINZ stand down

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Many workers and their families have been underpaid by Work and Income New Zealand for the past 18 years.

See Govt underpaid benefits for 18 years on Radio NZ.

They did this by paying benefits a day late. Workers who have been in and out of unemployment a number of times over these years could have lost many days, and maybe some weeks of income.

Seasonal workers in particular will have been routinely cheated.

If you have friends, workmates or members or family of who may have accessed regularly accessed Work and Income benefits then they should apply to be repaid their stolen income.

The government plan to change this with retrospective legislation to legalise this theft.

For people who have been underpaid (hundreds of thousands of people), information has been prepared to assist them to ask for the arrears to be repaid before the law is changed. Share the following link to encourage people to apply.

https://www.facebook.com/fairness.at.work/photos/pb.113487335368284.-2207520000.1446070960./1035444709839204/?type=3&theater

Can robots and information technology lead to a “post-capitalist” future ?

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By Mike Treen, Unite National Director

There seem to be two contrasting approaches to the possibility of robots displacing more and more jobs in the future.

One is that this is an inevitable outcome and we must prepare for a dystopian future like that portrayed in the film Elysium. There the 1% have created a space planet in a protective enclosure where they can live a life of luxury based on robotic production on earth. A robotic security system is used to keep out the declassed mass of poor scavenging an existence on earth.

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Why celebrate Labour Day

 

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Labour Day in New Zealand is meant to celebrate the fight for an 8-hour working day. 

That struggle has roots going back to when the first ships arrived in New Zealand with people wanting to begin a new life in the colony.

 

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Listen to Workers Voice 10.45am, Saturdays, Planet FM 104.6

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Workers voice, a program presented and produced by Unite Union. Bringing you the latest info on workers rights, news, interviews and union culture. Listen every Saturday at 10.45am, or online anytime at planetaudio.org.nz/WorkersVoice 

The first show this Labour Weekend features an interview with Unite National Director Mike Treen on the origins of Labour Day and whether it has any relevance anymore.