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Work Rights, Our Right!

June 20, 2006

Media Release

Work Rights, Our Right!

Workers have launched a counter-offensive against a National Party assault on workplace rights.

The $100,000 Work Rights, Our Right! campaign was launched in Wellington today by union leaders and members.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little told around 100 people at the launch that the campaign’s first objective was to stop National’s 90-day no-rights-at-work period from becoming law.

“The fight over employment law in New Zealand is on,” he said.

“This fight affects every wage and salary earner – all two million of us. And it affects anybody who will be a wage and salary earner in this country in the future.

“The first challenge we have is to defeat the National Party’s current bill. The next challenge is to make sure that our fair workplace laws – the laws that protect the weak and the vulnerable – are never attacked again by the vested interests of the powerful and the greedy. Today we rise to that challenge.”

Mr Little said that the 90-day bill was just the beginning of a 19th century-style assault on working conditions by the National Party and its supporters. New Zealand’s current law was among the best in the OECD, and workers would defend it fiercely, he said.

The Work Rights, Our Right! campaign includes:

- Public rallies around the country, starting in Whangarei tomorrow and including mass rallies in Wellington on July 20 and Christchurch on July 22.
- Newspapers advertising starting tomorrow (Weds) in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with a radio campaign starting next month.
- A billboard campaign in Wellington and Christchurch.
- An intensive political campaign.
- Workplace meetings.

Mr Little said that the Work Rights, Our Right! campaign had wide community support, with the leaders of other unions and student organisations attending today’s launch.


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