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What’s Wrong With Business NZ

Press Release May 1st 2002

Today is May 1st: Mayday, international workers day, a day when we celebrate our resistance to capitalism. As part of the Wellington Carnival Against Capitalism we are protesting against Business NZ, the largest and most influential business or capitalist lobby group in New Zealand today.

Business NZ is the national body of the Employers’ and Manufacturers Associations. Business NZ is the product of a recent merger of the Manufacturers Federation and the New Zealand Employers’ Federation. It is composed of many regional business associations, including the Employers’ and Manufacturers Associations (Northern and Central), the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Southland Employers’ Association, and so on. It calls itself the policy and advocacy wing of these business associations ; it lobbies government, issues press releases, and so on, to promote the interests of its wealthy members. Basically, its main activity is to pressure government to continue and expand the New Right war on the poor.

More profits for themselves (the rich capitalist few) by cutting wages promoting worse working conditions. It wants to stop workers getting better health and safety conditions at work, as well as more pay on statutory holidays. lowering taxes for the rich reducing government spending on things that (well, sort of) meet our needs; like health and education. It wants more user pays & market rents for state housing. increasing government spending on things that predominantly meet the needs of the rich eg. government support for business (ie. corporate or capitalist welfare); better transport infrastructure so goods can be transported faster and cheaper for more profit. privatisation of public assets, especially those owned by local governments more free trade agreements. For example, it aims to have a free trade agreement with the USA by 2005. These agreements predominantly benefit the wealthy. anti-union legislation. It opposes the tiny elements of the Employment Relations Act that are positive for unions and workers. reducing protection for the environment and the introduction of Genetically Engineered biotechnology.

The predecessor to Business NZ ; the NZEF ; was at the forefront of pushing for the Employment Contracts Act and benefit cuts in 1991. It has also actively supported the other features of the post-1984 New Right agenda, such as the fiscal envelope rip-off of working class Maori.

Business NZ claims to promote economic growth for the benefit of all New Zealanders. Bollocks! Overall Business NZ are a greedy bunch of capitalists (people who own and control the resources of society) who are only after more profits for themselves. The aims of Business NZ only reflect the self-interest of a few capitalists. As capitalists, they make a profit out of exploiting us and nature, and want to accelerate this process. New Right reforms advocated by Business NZ have produced a society with the fastest growing rate of inequality in the First World, a society where the rich are much richer at our expense: 80% of us are worse off than we were in 1984.

But what about the Business Roundtable? Surely, they are more influential than Business NZ? This was the case a few years ago, but the political climate has changed. As Helen Clark and the Labour Party promote the third way between the evils of welfare state capitalism and free market capitalism, extremist New Right lobby groups for the rich few like the Business Roundtable have become unpopular. The third way agenda ; which is the same old New Right agenda of more wealth for the rich and less for the poor, except with a nice new caring, sharing image ; suits Business NZ perfectly. They can sell themselves as less nasty as the Business Roundtable whilst continuing to promote the very same bash the workers & the poor policies of the Business Roundtable!

In the end, capitalist interest groups like Business NZ aren’t all that important. What is important is that capitalism is an exploitative system, and we need to get rid of it! Lots of people are realising this. With the New Right ; capitalism with its gloves off ; we are being to work harder, longer and for less pay, and suffering from more lay-offs, poverty, disease and hunger, not to mention the brink of an ecological crisis. But we don’t take this lying down. Everyday, we resist capitalism’s dreary drill of submission and oppression, through things like go-slows, phoning in sick, or going out on strike. When this resistance becomes more open and visible, then an anti- capitalist rebellion or maybe even revolution ; which aims at satisfying the needs and desires of all ; becomes possible. A new world is possible!

BUSINESS NZ are located at level 6, Microsoft House, 3-11 Hunter Street, Wgtn, ph 496-6555, website http://www.businessnz.org.nz/ for MAY DAY AND ANTI-CAPITALIST RESOURCES, check out http://aotearoa.wellington.net.nz/mayday/ and http://www.infoshop.org or visit the Freedom Shop at 272 Cuba St.

Care2 make the world greener! mayday wellington http://aotearoa.wellington.net.nz/mayday / http://www.care2.com - Get your Free e-mail account that helps save Wildlife!


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