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Six thousand rally for stronger work rights

Six thousand rally for stronger work rights in Manukau


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August 27, 2008
Media Release

Six thousand rally for stronger work rights in Manukau

More than six thousand union members rallied in Manukau today in a bid to put the issue of stronger work rights and higher wages firmly on the election agenda.

The rally was the 24th of 25 being held across New Zealand this month as part of the EPMU’s Work Rights Wage Drive and was the largest union rally in more than a decade, with Manukau’s TelstraClear Pacific Stadium overflowing beyond capacity.

At the rally members voted unanimously to endorse the EPMU’s Work Rights Checklist, bringing the total number of union members to have endorsed the document to 14,000 nationwide.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says with the rising cost of living and migration to Australia, work rights and wages are becoming a defining election issue.

“With just one rally to go we’ve had a massive turnout and huge support for the protection and strengthening of New Zealanders’ work rights.

“We’re hearing from members right across the country that their wages need to rise for them and their families to enjoy a better way of life, and they know that’s just not possible without strong work rights. That’s the message our members will be taking out to their families, their whanau, their churches and their communities.

“This is how unions campaign. We are and always have been about working Kiwis standing together to make their lives better, because if workers don’t then nobody else will.”

“Today’s rally means 14,000 working New Zealanders have endorsed our Work Rights Checklist and want us to take it to the politicians to see how they measure up, and this gives our union a strong democratic mandate from workers heading into this year’s election.”

The rally was addressed by EPMU national secretary Andrew Little, Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly, Service and Food Workers Union northern regional secretary Jill Ovens and NZ Post worker Mahendra Singh, who sits on the EPMU’s democratically elected national executive.

The Work Rights Wage Drive now heads to the North Shore for the final rally at North Harbour Stadium at 1pm on Friday.

The EPMU is New Zealand’s largest private sector union, representing 50,000 members across eleven industries.

For more information about the Work Rights Wage Drive, including a copy of the Work Rights Checklist, visit www.workrights.org.nz.


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Unity Pacific


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EPMU Delegate Mahendra Singh


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EPMU national secretary Andrew Little


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CTU president Helen Kelly


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ENDS

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