1000 members of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union at eight AFFCO plants in the North Island have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action next week.
The decision comes after the Talley’s owned company walked away from mediation last week and applied to end bargaining under the government’s new employment laws - the first such application since the law came into effect.Read more
By John Minto
(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)
Our Inland Revenue Department has a “High Wealth Individuals Unit” (HWI Unit) which collects information on the wealth of “people who have, or are in control of wealth over $50 million”
For the 2014 year, the HWI Unit has identified over 212 people who meet this criteria and furthermore these 212 HWI’s control, or are closely associated with, 7,009 “entities” – mainly companies and tax-haven trusts – with control in some cases shared with other HWI’s.
By Darien Fenton, Director of Organising, NZ Meat Workers Union
Talley's workers and their families during the 2012 lockout
It’s not really a big surprise, but disappointing all the same that it’s come to crunch time with Talleys AFFCO .
After 18 months of things going nowhere, the MWU attended Court ordered mediation this month in an effort to settle the collective agreement. The MWU team tried hard to negotiate on the issues the company had told us were important competitive issues for them, including a 480 minute day.
By Mike Treen, Unite National Director
(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)
Sometimes working people get misled by some of the arguments used to bash the beneficiary as bludgers and so on.
Firstly we should know that having a welfare system is vital to putting a floor under how far we can be pushed down in this society.
When unemployment went from less than 3% to 12% over a few years during the deep recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s it wasn’t because workers suddenly had a fit of laziness and abandoned our jobs. We were forced out of working by the bosses and their system – capitalism.
By Christine Rose
Reprinted from The Daily Blog
The recently announced unprecedented level of CEO salaries should give all conscientious Kiwis cause for concern. The scale of both the base salaries and the increases for New Zealand company bosses shows real inequity, and growing inequality between the pay rates of workers and elites. The growing gap between the rich and the poor is glaringly obvious there. Over the last 10 years CEO salaries have gone up an average of 107%. In the last year alone CEO pay rates rose an average of 10%. At the same time many lower level Kiwi workers received no pay rise at all or had pay rates that were virtually stagnant, with about only a 3% wage increase for Kiwi workers on average.
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National Labour News
Employees at AFFCO's Rangiuru plant are being forced to sign individual contracts against their will, the NZ Meatworkers Union declared. According to the union, the workers were told they would not be re-employed if they refused to sign the contracts which required more hours for less pay. The union lost a request before the Employment Court for a temporary injunction to block the company's action but vowed to continue the court fight. Union campaign director Darien Fenton said the workers were told not to report to work unless they signed the contracts. "The company has made it very clear that they require a signed individual agreement, so it really is they sign with a gun to their head," she said. "We'll live to fight another day - both in the Employment [Relations] Authority and in the Employment Court."
1 July 2015 Editorial
A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of a democratic alternative to austerity. The Syriza government of Greece incarnates that alternative, which is why the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) have allied with the IMF to exorcise the challenge it represents. With few exceptions, political parties of every persuasion have tacitly or actively supported the anti-Syriza coalition.
On June 8 Murray Taylor became the fourth person this year to die while working in a quarry in New Zealand. The excavator Taylor was operating became buried under 1500 tonnes of rock when a cliff-face collapsed above him in a North Canterbury limestone quarry.