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Biggest worker protests in a decade reject laws

MEDIA RELEASE

20 October 2010

Biggest worker protests in a decade reject law changes

Workers from Kaitaia to Bluff attended protests today on Government plans to change workplace laws.

By lunchtime more than 15,000 workers had attended stopwork meetings and rallies. 7,000 packed the TelstraClear Stadium in Auckland and 4,000 piled into Parliament Grounds. 1500 rallied in Hamilton, 800 in Hastings and 750 in Nelson. Thousands more are expected in events throughout the afternoon in many centres.

CTU President Helen Kelly said at Parliament that the Government has turned its back on Kiwi workers and their families, who are bearing the brunt of the GST increase, miserly tax cuts for the lowest paid which nowhere near compensate increased costs, and no investment in jobs.

“Now the Government thinks it’s ok to kick working people again with a raft of unfair workplace laws that remove the most basic of work rights and in the long term are aimed at wage reductions,” she said.

Kelly highlighted the removal of unfair dismissal rights in the first 90 days of employment, the requirement for a sick note on the first day of illness and reducing union access to workplaces.

“We will keep on campaigning on these basic work rights until they are given back and are there for future generations of workers,” she said.
In Auckland thousands of workers bussed to the TelstraClear Stadium to hear CTU vice president Richard Wagstaff and union leaders Andrew Little, Jill Ovens and Robert Reid reject the changes and call for a long term campaign of opposition.

Kelly acknowledged statements of support for the national day of action from both the Labour Party and the Green Party.

ENDS.

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