CTU Media Release – for immediate release
18 February 2008
Union movement gathers over two days to strategise for growth
The trade union movement is gathering over the next two days in Rotorua to assess and develop union building strategies, further develop its political strategy, and hear from the successes of the Australian Work Rights campaign at their last election, CTU president Helen Kelly said today.
“Unions are confident, growing and determined. We are the largest democratic movement in New Zealand and our numbers are increasing.
“But we need to continually reflect on our work, and plan to ensure more and more working people experience the benefits of being in a union.”
The CTU’s political strategy was also a key feature of the agenda, Helen Kelly said.
“Protecting and enhancing workers rights, stronger public services, and higher wages are the cornerstones of the CTU political strategy, launched last October.”
“Our political strategy sends a strong and unequivocal signal that there is a greater role for unions in politics. We are now in election year, and unions will be working over the next two days to make sure the strategy is put into practice throughout the year.”
“We are also pleased to be hearing today from the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Jeff Lawrence. John Howard’s Work Choices legislation was an unprecedented attack on the basic conditions of working Australians. The Australian union movement’s campaign on work rights was a massive success and we will be picking up on relevant lessons for New Zealand.”