Turia rewrites history
Tariana Turia is attempting to rewrite history to deflect attention from her support for the GST increase says a Maori unionist.
Syd Keepa convener of Kai Mahi Council of Trade Unions Runanga says he is angry and disappointed at Turia’s budget speech blaming the unions for the lack of job training for unemployed Maori during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“Throughout those dark days the union movement and the unemployed movement were lonely voices calling for proper training for real jobs,” he says.
“Ms Turia’s new mates in the National Party and among the employers and financial elites were totally opposed to meaningful training or job creation because they said it interfered with the market.
“It was them that had the power to determine policy, not the union movement which was totally shut out from decision making.
“Maori unemployment is 13.3% compared to 6.4% for all others. Ms Turia is part of a government whose only response to soaring Maori unemployment is a massive tax handout to the rich and hammering low income Maori with a GST increase.
“Once again unions’ calls for meaningful action on jobs are falling on deaf ears, the only difference is that this time Ms Turia has lined up with the rich and powerful to deny Maori the opportunities they deserve.”
Mr Keepa says thousand of Maori workers have been loyal unionists for generations because their experience is that over a period of time unions provide a collective voice and practical organisation to continue their struggle for a decent standard of living.
“Maori unionists would like to sit down with the Maori Party and begin a dialogue on how to address our shared concerns on how to the needs of the increasing number of Maori unemployed,” he says.