Mike Treen on platform of May Day rally in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2006
By Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union
(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)
The international labour movement together with all supporters of peace and social justice around the globe need to mobilise in solidarity with government and people of Venezuela.
The declaration by the President of the United States that Venezuela is an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” can seem simply absurd on the face of it but it constitutes the first step towards open warfare and “regime change” as official policy.
Just such a declaration by US President Reagan in 1985 set the stage for the imposition of economic sanctions – including an economic embargo – to remove an elected government. The sanctions were followed by funding for a terrorist paramilitary war that combined with the embargo destroyed the economy and led to the electoral defeat of the governing Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1990. The FSLN returned to power in 2007 and have increased their support to record levels.
The threat posed by Venezuela is the threat of a good example. The process known as the “Bolivarian Revolution” began with the election of Hugo Chavez as President in 1998. Until his death from cancer in March 2013 he led a mass process to redistribute wealth, radically increase access to health care and education, expand popular power, and challenge US domination and exploitation in the region.Read more
By Anna Burns-Francis Reporter
Hardworking Kiwis keeping our fast-food and hospitality industries afloat are technically employed, but they’re not guaranteed any work.
They’re hired on zero-hour contracts, and for the second week in a row, Mohammad Ismail’s been given zero hours’ work at Burger King.
“It’s rubbish,” says Mr Ismail. “I only get $14.25 per hour – you can’t survive on it. No one would like to work for just two hours.”
So what does the Employment Minister Michael Woodhouse think of the contract?Read more
A major survey of fast food workers in New Zealand has exposed the reality of “Zero Hour Contracts” for workers and some of the myths used to justify them.
Over a thousand fast food union members working for the major brands in New Zealand responded to Unite Union’s online survey, with nearly 700 giving detailed information on their working hours over the previous four weeks. That is the biggest response Unite Union has ever had to a member survey.
2014 was a massive year for Fast Food workers in the U.S. Two McDonalds’ workers from Los Angeles are visiting New Zealand to tell the story and work with fast food workers in New Zealand to keep building the momentum.
Genoby Jaimes, 27, has worked at McDonald’s for 6 years and only makes $9.75 an hour. She is a mother of a six year old son. Anggie Godoy,19, has worked at McDonald’s for a year and makes $9 an hour.
They will be speaking at the National Fast Food Workers day on Sat Feb 14th (9am, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Auckland, Link Here). They have just been in Wellington meeting with Union Leaders and meeting MP’s at Parliament.
The U.S. campaign has many reasons to celebrate over the past year:
The movement went global- 230 cities, 33 countries, 6 continents.
They shut down McDonald’s headquarters.Read more
Wendy’s workers from five stores in Auckland and Papakura walked off the job yesterday over the company’s theft of their right to “alternative days” off or “lieu days” for working on a public holiday.Read more
Great news from more Unite members as we get ready to kick off the campaign to end zero hours contracts. A second employer in the hotel industry has agreed to a secure hours clause with Unite Union.Read more