August 23, 2006
Joint EPMU / NDU Media Release
Mass rally brings victory
Today’s 5000 worker protest in Aotea Square has delivered a political victory, with Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples publicly announcing his party will vote National’s No-Rights Bill down.
The total withdrawal of Maori Party support means National’s Bill, which would strip workers of their rights for their first 90 days in a new job, cannot pass its second reading.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union National Secretary Andrew Little says the victory is a warning to the right. “Parties like National need to know workers will not tolerate attacks on their Work Rights.
“And other parties need to look to their principles and ask themselves if they really want to support such a savage attack on the rights of working New Zealanders.”
National Distribution Union National Secretary Laila Harre says the win is just the beginning. “This Bill is the biggest attack on workers’ rights since the nineties and stopping it goes hand in hand with ending youth rates and getting a $12 an hour minimum wage which will help undo some of the damage National caused back then.”
Over 3500 union members came to the rally on more than seventy buses. More than two hundred marched from NZ Post and Sky City. They were joined by over a thousand other members who found their own way to the rally.
The campaign will continue over the next few months until the bill is decisively defeated.