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National and Labour - two sides of the same coin

National and Labour - two sides of the same coin

Thursday, 20 July 2006

National and Labour - two sides of the same coin - Wildcat Anarchist Collective

National MP Wayne Mapp's 90 Day Bill is the first in what may be a series of full-scale attacks on workers' rights.

The bill gives the employer the ability to fire workers with no reason within the first 90 days of employment. In addition there would be no right of appeal.

The Labour Government has made very little comment on the bill. Instead Finance Minister Michael Cullen has focused on telling workers that they shouldn't push for higher wages while the cost of basic necessities are rising. Cullen recently received an 8% salary increase.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has been gutless in confronting this Labour government with the reality of people's lives. Instead many of their affiliate unions spend time and money electing Labour. The recent report by the Ministry of Social Development New Zealand Living Standards shows that despite economic 'growth', the amount of people living in severe hardship grew to 8%.

National and Labour are very similar; they just differ in their tactics. National would like to strip workers of many of their rights, and propose 'work for the dole' schemes for those not working.

Labour prefers to deny or reduce benefits like it did with 'Jobs Jolt' and appears to be proposing with the Single Core Benefit, or the corporate welfare of the 'Working for Families' package which is taking the pressure off employers to pay a living wage.

National and Labour are silent on the unpaid work of childcare which is mostly done by women, and without which capitalism would simply not function.

Also, both parties unquestioningly support the Reserve Bank Act. This is the rough mechanism by which the Reserve Bank raises interest rates to increase unemployment in order to keep the pressure on wages down.

National and Labour are silent on the unpaid work of childcare which is mostly done by women, and without which capitalism would simply not function.

The term for these types of tactics is class war, and its time to fight back.

We need to build a movement that is based on the idea that the interests of the ruling class are fundamentally in opposition to us.

Within the union movement we believe the first steps are:

- To fight for union democracy; - An end to "partnership for quality" type strategies; - And to stop wasting time and money on parliamentary parties.


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