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TUF On Picket Death

5 January 2000 For immediate release

The New Zealand Trade Union Federation expresses its horror and outrage at the murder of Christine Clarke on the official picket line of the New Zealand Waterfront Workers Union in Lyttelton last week.

Maxine Gay, President of the Trade Union Federation made this statement today, the day of Christine Clarke's funeral in Christchurch.

"For the third time in New Zealand's history a trade union activist has been killed following a period of anti-trade union propaganda by employer groups, conservative political parties and newspaper editorials. The attacks on trade unions during the last election campaign once again created the climate for such a tragic event to occur," Maxine Gay said. "Unfortunately some media and employers have chosen to continue their attacks even after Christine's death.

"For Christine it was a car rather than a bullet, a baton or a bomb that was the murder weapon. However the outcome is the same; a comrade, friend and loved-one is dead," Maxine Gay said.

"The family of Christine Clarke have lost a wife, a daughter and a mother. Those who knew Christine have lost a true friend. The Waterfront Workers Union and the entire Trade Union Movement have lost a working class fighter.

"We will remember Christine Clarke. Her life and death will remain an inspiration to those who continue to struggle for worker rights and social justice," Maxine Gay concluded.

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