March 20, 2008
EPMU celebrates Blackball solidarity
The centenary of the Blackball mining strike is a time to reflect on the importance of the union movement in New Zealand’s society says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The 1908 strike for a decent lunch break was a turning point in the history of New Zealand’s labour movement and one of the first examples of what working New Zealanders could achieve by standing together for social justice.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little will be addressing the commemoration dinner and says all workers should take the time to consider the rights New Zealand union members have won for them over the years.
“Without union members like the Blackball miners to fight for them Kiwi workers wouldn’t have conditions they take for granted today such as four weeks annual leave, an eight hour working day or even decent meal breaks.
“Our work rights are amongst the most important rights we have and without them we’d be a lot poorer as a nation and as individuals. It’s our jobs that feed and house us and our families and it’s our work rights that help keep those jobs secure and ensure we are properly rewarded for doing them.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to make sure all Kiwi workers have decent wages and fair working conditions but we need union members standing strong together to make sure it happens.”
The EPMU represents fifty thousand New Zealand workers including New Zealand’s miners.