Striking Teachers To Join May Day March
Striking teachers will take to the streets to join the annual May Day march in Auckland on Wednesday at 5.30pm downtown. Their presence is welcomed by the organisers of the march who say that May Day is all about the struggle for workers rights and call on others to join in a show of solidarity with the teachers. 'The teachers deserve support - they've carried the burden of an under funded school system for too long', said Daphna Whitmore, one of the march organisers . 'Labour has shown itself to be just like National in government' she said 'and many of us on the May Day march will have some bitter words to say about the government'.
The march has been an annual event in Auckland for 30 years and attracts workers, unionists, students, young and old. As well as supporting the teachers' strike this year the marchers are calling for anti-strike laws to be repealed, for Mayor Banks' privatisation plans to be halted and for the people of New Zealand to extend solidarity to the Palestinians.
All around the world, since 1889, people demonstrate and celebrate on International Workers' Day, a day that was established around the campaign for an 8-hour working day. 'It is ironic' says Daphna Whitmore, 'that over a hundred years later so many people in New Zealand are working 60 to 80 hour weeks, just to earn a living wage'. The census figures show that 200,000 people are working over 60 hours a week.
Marchers are gathering at the bottom of Queen Street, at QE2 Square, and march up to Aotea Square for a rally and speeches. There is a social afterwards at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn.