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Broad Left Lobby At Important CTU Meeting

Sunday 11 March 2001

There will be a Broad Left lobby at a Council of Trade Unions special national meeting next Wednesday (March 14) in Rotorua.

This CTU meeting is an important one. It will consider joint union action against Carter Holt, which is using cops to smash Waterfront Workers Union pickets in the South Island in a bid to casualise port labour.

Two other unions, the National Distribution Union and the Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union, are also currently in dispute with Carter Holt, which is owned by the US giant International Paper.

"The hard-nosed aggression of this corporation must be stopped by workers' actions, otherwise all employers will think they can return to the bad old days of the 'free' market and National Party rule," says Grant Morgan, industrial organiser of the Socialist Workers Organisation. "If Carter Holt is beaten, it will give a huge boost to the rebuilding of strong unions."

The Socialist Workers Organisation is the initiator of the lobby at the CTU meeting. Other leftists are responding to our call for a Broad Left lobby which will ask those attending the CTU meeting to consider joint union bans on the processing and distribution of Carter Holt's goods.

"While such bans would be illegal under present law, many union activists agree that this is our most effective strategy," says Grant Morgan. "Certainly the SWO has been getting a very positive response from workers to our leaflet calling for union bans on Carter Holt. Over recent weeks, many thousands of these leaflets have been distributed around NZ."

The lobby will interact with CTU meeting goers, acting as a "voice" of grassroots opinion and as a stimulant to democratic debate within the workers' movement. The only people not wanted on the lobby are sectarians who would simply attack CTU meeting goers, rather than seeking a constructive dialogue with them.

Left activists from Auckland and Tauranga as well as Rotorua have already confirmed they will be attending the lobby.

A banner and placards reading "Support workers' rights - Put union bans on Carter Holt" will be on display at the lobby. An "open" megaphone will allow free debate among both CTU lobbyists and meeting goers about the best union strategy. It will be an important and exciting event.

WHERE & WHEN: Willowhaven Lodge, end of Beaumont Rd, Ngongotaha (outskirts of Rotorua), on Wednesday 14 March. The starting time of the lobby is 9am, while the CTU meeting starts at 9.45am.

For further information on the lobby, please contact:

Grant Morgan SWO industrial organiser (09) 634 3377 (days & evenings) gcm@actrix.gen.nz BACKGROUNDER ARTICLE:


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