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Workers Charter New Political Developments on Left

Workers Charter Conference

New Political Developments on the Left

A conference to establish a national campaign in support of a Workers Charter is being held in Auckland on the Saturday of Labour Weekend – 22nd October.

A draft charter has been prepared by a working group which has been meeting over the past few months – the draft is attached with this release. The concept of establishing the Workers Charter and the draft charter itself have already been endorsed by over 200 individuals.

The one-day conference will discuss this draft and possible amendments; a national campaign in support of the charter objectives and establishing an organisation to carry it through.

As well as grassroots activists from around New Zealand a delegation from Australia will also address the conference.

This is an important new development on the left. We are looking forward to this discussion of the Charter and its bold objectives which include -

“… the complete transformation of our society to serve the needs of the majority rather than the greed of the minority.”


The conference is being held at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn from 10am to 5pm. The media are warmly welcomed to attend. There will be a Media Conference at 12.30 on the day (lunchtime at the conference) which will be hosted by Luke Coxon and Daphne Lawless (co-chairs of the Conference) and John Minto and Matt McCarten (spokespeople for the Conference Working Group)

Spokespersons for Conference Working Group.


Draft Text of the Workers Charter

Every worker is a human being who deserves the right to dignity.

For that right to be at the heart of our society, workers need economic justice and democratic control over our future.

But what motivates society today is the selfish right of a privileged few to gather wealth from the productive majority.

Workers are mere commodities, exploited and discarded like any other. Our status in society is worsened by market competition, free trade and commercialisation of public assets.

The wealth of New Zealanders on the Rich List skyrockets. Meanwhile the living standards of the majority fall, and one in three children grow up in poverty here in Aotearoa.

Wars of conquest to control global resources, like the US colonisation of Iraq, expand corporate wealth and power at the cost of mass bloodshed and suffering.

Profit-driven exploitation of the environment is fueling global warming, an oil crisis and other threats to life on our planet.

The end result is massive growth in social inequality and environmental destruction. Our humanity and our environment have been sacrificed to the god of profit. Our ability to resist is undermined by laws that ban most strikes.

As a positive alternative, the Workers Charter promotes these core democratic rights:

1. The right to a job that pays a living wage and gives us time with our families and communities.

2. The right to pay equity for women, youth and casual workers.

3. The right to free public healthcare and education, and to liveable superannuation and welfare.

4. The right to decent housing without crippling mortgages and rents.

5. The right to public control of assets vital to community well-being.

6. The right to protect our environment from corporate greed.

7. The right to express our personal identity free from discrimination.

8. The right to strike in defence of our interests.

9. The right to organise for the transfer of wealth and power from the haves to the have-nots.

10. The right to unite with workers in other lands against corporate globalisation and war.

These rights can only be secured by workers organising to extend democracy into every sphere of the economy and the state. This will involve the complete transformation of our society to serve the needs of the majority rather than the greed of the minority.

The privileged few will resist fiercely. They will use their economic and political power to try to deny workers our rights.

A mass mobilisation around the Workers Charter can give us the strength to win the battle for democracy and reclaim our human dignity.

ENDS

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