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National anti-worker attack will be resisted

National anti-worker attack will be resisted

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says National's announcement of attacks on workers rights will be fought hard.

Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the restrictions on union access to workplaces was a serious attack on the right of New Zealand workers to organize.

"National have now dropped any pretense of moderation in their policies – the phoney war is over and National's agenda of tax cuts for the rich, privatization and now tearing up the basic rights of working people is out there for all to see."

He says that National is embarking on a repeat of extremist 1990s policies but doing it in a more cunning way.

"The fact they have a smiley face fronting it this time around does not change the sinister intention."

He says the attack on workers and their organizations is not surprising as the Government had failed to deal with unemployment, which was now rising again, and were looking to go on the offensive.

Mr Fleetwood says any attacks on workers would be met with fierce resistance.

He says unionized workers are one of the few obstacles to National creating a New Zealand where a majority of people would face an increasingly grim situation of high unemployment, poor wages, casualization and unaffordable housing and food.

"Unionized workers have better wages, better conditions, and safer workplaces – all reasons why National wants to bag unions and drag us back to the nineteenth century when workers had no rights."

Mr Fleetwood says there is one way that New Zealand workers will "catch up with Australia."

"That is to unionize and negotiate better pay."

"The problem is that workers are getting less and less of a share of the wealth they produce which is being sucked up as corporate profits that accumulate to the already wealthy."

Mr Fleetwood says the Maritime Union would campaign hard against any Government that threatened the hard won rights of the working class to organize.

He says all working New Zealanders must realize that the divide and rule approach of National was hurting their interests.


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