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

 

Lockdown Was Necessary And Now Guaranteed Income Support And Protections Are Vital

Unite union fully supports the government’s move to a lockdown.

“We had so many emails, calls and messages from members genuinely fearful for their health and that of their families if they were forced to keep going to work” said National Secretary Gerard Hehir.

The union has had many reports, including photos and videos, of preventative measures that were supposed to be in place not being adhered to or the extra resources to achieve them not being provided.

“There is no point telling already understaffed restaurant workers to undertake extra cleaning every hour if they haven’t got enough time to ensure normal food safety practices already.”


The concern, however, will now shift to their income and being able to survive financially.

“The reality is that low income workers simply do not have savings to fall back on or disposable income to cut, if earnings fall. Incomes, especially for low paid workers, should be protected. Never again should there be a repeat of the 2008 crisis where ordinary people around the world suffered hardship and ‘austerity’ while finance companies and banks received billions of taxpayer dollars and were back rolling in record profits within a year.”

“While there are many small and medium sized businesses that are in a desperate situation and who also need and deserve community support, there are many large corporations who will simply move to shut up shop to protect their profits and cash reserves.”

“Not good enough.”


Unite calls for:

1. Large employers to pay their share for income protection of their employees
Large employers should contribute to employees receiving 100% of their normal income. It should not be left to the taxpayer to pick up, and definitely not the workers to pay the price. SkyCity boasted last year that it had $450 million in cash proceeds from sales. Restaurant Brands Ltd is valued at over $460 million. They can simply afford to make sure the employees who created that wealth for them do not suffer in this time of need.


2. Protection of income for workers.
Where employers are not able to protect employee incomes then the government must step in. That includes the incomes of small business owners and the self employed.


3. No forced redundancies
There should be no forced redundancies where the employer continues as a legal entity. Workers should keep their jobs (along with their employment rights) even if there is little or no work available. This will ensure the smoothest and fairest transition back when the lockdown is over. Employers should not be able to permanently cast-off their employers just to protect their existing profits.


4. No evictions or cutting of essential services
Homes, power, water phones and internet should not be able to be cut off during the crisis.

5. Price controls
There is a real danger of hyper inflation and of profiteering. Prices need to be stabilised and profiteers prosecuted.

6 Rent and mortgage amnesty
Those who cannot meet their housing costs because of the crisis should not have a huge debt chained round their necks. WINZ has been forcing debt upon homeless beneficiaries put up in motels for years. That behaviour needs to stop now - for everyone. Those in emergency housing should not need to reapply and they should not need to pay back emergency housing costs

6. Urgent plan for homelessness
People sleeping in cars, on the streets and in shelters can’t self isolate. The government needs to urgently increase state housing stock, including using existing available private stock if needed. “Ghost homes” (there are estimated 40,000 empty houses in Auckland alone) should have homeless people and families in them.


Unite wholeheartedly endorses the government’s calls to “Unite against Covid-19”. It means that all the resources of the country, both public and private, need to be focussed on keeping us all healthy and safe so we all come through this crisis.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rationing Of PPE Gear, Masks And Everything Else

From the outset, the perceived need to ration our scarce resources seems to have driven the response to Covid-19. Rationing still appears to be limiting the ability of nurses and other frontline workers to access and routinely wear the PPE gear they need to do their job safely. Initially at least, we were also rationing the public’s access to Covid-19 testing. We also continue to pick and choose among the scientific evidence to justify advising the public against the need for them to wear masks…. If it hasn’t done so already, this trend will end up eroding public confidence in the Ministry of Heath assurances that hey don’t worry people, we have enough PPE gear, testing kits and masks to go around. Counter factual : if we’re rationing it, we haven’t got enough... More>>


 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>

ALSO:


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>

ALSO:

Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>

ALSO:

SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels