Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Joe Carolan - Would you like a rise with that?

Would you like a rise with that?

By Joe Carolan

Unite’s Supersizemypay.com campaign to unionise young workers in the fast food multinational chains has taken hold of a generation’s imagination, in a way I haven’t seen since the big pre-war mobilisations of Feb 15th 2003. Make no mistake, this new trade unionism is a social movement of the young, the brown, the immigrant and the poor, and in store after store, we are getting 100% per cent votes for strike action.

I’ve just returned from a night’s visting, recruiting and balloting, meeting workers on the graveyard shifts all over South Central Auckland. In the KFC in Balmoral, same as the Pizza Hut in Royal Oak or the McDonald’s in Greenlane, there’s one sentence I keep hearing from our members and delegates- “when’s it our turn to strike?”. Young workers are flaunting company rules, proudly wearing their Unite union badges and $12 an hour stickers on their uniforms at work, and you can even see them walk differently. Stroppier, taller, more confident- staunch. Itching for their turn to take action in what promises to be Auckland’s Hot Summer.

The Starbucks strike was awesome- when Vicki Salmon, CEO of Restaurant Brands, scoffed on National Radio that there were only three workers going on strike at the K Road store, she ignited the anger of our other Starbucks delegates and members citywide. 35 Starbucks workers took wildcat action, and the Workers Charter Freedom Bus ferried the wildcats down to the rally. Nick, the 16 year old Starbucks worker from St Lukes, spoke at the KFC strike ballot meeting two days later in the Balmoral store. His energy ignited the anger of the workers there, who voted 100% for strike action on December 3rd, the first strike action in New Zealand led by a strike committee made up in the main of teenagers, furious at the discrimination they suffer under youth rates. Teenage kicks aimed at KFC- Kiwis for Cheap...

At times, you feel like the Bolsheviks during the July Days. A premature uprising runs great risks, especially up against the enemies that we face. This is a David and Goliath battle. But what makes you realise that this is a movement for social justice and not just an exercise in collective bargaining, is the energy, creativity and thirst to have a go at the multinationals that you find in every store. Elements of the anti capitalist movement might have been misguided in their calls to boycott these chains- all along, we were really needed inside them organising young working class people.

Socialists and Workers Charter activists have been at the heart of this uprising, and at the time this article was written, were building flat out for a solidarity rally with the 30 brave KFC workers striking at Balmoral. In the weeks to come, the strikes will spread out to Lincoln Road, Royal Oak, and into the centre of the city and Queen Street. At the Unite strategy meetings, we often talk about Farrell Dobbs and the Teamsters rebellion in Minneapolis- and how a small group of dedicated socialists could build a massive citywide union movement. Hopefully this summer we will have our Fastfood Rebellion, and we hope thousands of low paid workers in petrol stations, supermarkets and video stores go on to follow our example.

Now, would you like a rising with that? Super size my pay dot com!

Also see Starstruck- David and Goliath

http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=73204

and Union Busters leave a bitter taste
http://www.swp.ie/socialistworker/2005/sw240/SW-240-web.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Welfare Reform Has No Champions In Parliament

Ever since Victorian times, the unemployed have been a problem for those more fortunate, wealthy and powerful. Down the ages, society has been torn between providing for them as victims of misfortune, or dealing to them as the shiftless agents of their own condition. Either way, the poor are commonly regarded as The Other – as a group of outsiders gathered pitifully, reproachfully, or (depending on your POV) threateningly at the gates of polite society.... More>>


 

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:

ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>

ALSO:

Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Dodgy Politics Of Easing Level 3

As countries around the world tentatively emerge from lockdown, a lot of political noise is being generated by politically-driven arguments that (a) the safeguards need to be lifted faster and (b) the lockdown itself was an over-reaction likely to leave lasting economic damage in its wake... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels