Labour Party member
13 Elm St Upper Hutt
Letter to members of the Council of Trade Unions
To whom it may concern,
I am writing the CTU as a member of the Labour Party and former Chair of the Rimutaka Labour electorate committee.
In the past many unions have given money to the Labour Party before general elections. Unions have done this in the belief that the election of a Labour or Labour led government would be in the best interests of New Zealand workers.
However this election I am writing urging you to reconsider giving money to this or any other political party in this election. The union movement is still weakened after the Neo-liberal policies of the 1980’s and 1990’s; therefore union money should be carefully spent. Unions should be careful who they give money to this election.
In the last 2 ½ years of this Labour led government, we have seen many cases where this government have chosen to put the interests of big businesses and foreign capital before the interests of workers rights. The main example of this is the Labour Party’s unquestioning support of Globalisation. This is an agenda heavily influenced by Neo-liberal ideology, whereby countries are being pressured to deregulate and open up to an international market largely controlled by foreign corporations. One example of this in New Zealand is the governments support of Free Trade agreements – for example the Singapore Free Trade agreement signed in 2000 or the deals with Hong Kong and USA that are currently being negotiated. These deals put at risk thousands of New Zealand jobs and further reduce New Zealanders control over their own economy.
Unions should only give money to Labour if they agree to certain demands. For example:
- That the
youth minimum wage be raised to the same level as the adult
minimum wage - That all negotiations on Free Trade
agreements stop, and a major review of New Zealand’s current
support for Globalisation occur.
- That the right to strike be returned to workers (a right that was lost under Nationals Employment Contract Act, but wasn’t returned under Labour’s Employment Relations Act)
- That Paid Parental leave be extended to 14 weeks, with at least some of the cost being paid by employers
- That annual leave be extended to 4 weeks - Any other major demands of union members as a collective
It is my opinion that Unions should only give Labour or any other political Party money, if they agree to support these demands.
Nick Kelly Member of Rimutaka Labour Party