INDEPENDENT NEWS

Workers Charter - Campaign Meetings Wgtn & P-Nrth

Published: Mon 21 Nov 2005 09:58 AM
Workers Charter - First Campaign Meetings
The first campaign meetings to promote the Workers Charter are being held this coming weekend in Wellington and Palmerston North.
Well known social justice campaigner and community activist John Minto will address both meetings.
The campaign for a Workers Charter was launched at a national conference held in Auckland on Labour weekend. That meeting endorsed a draft charter which will be discussed around the country over the coming year.
This weekend’s meetings represent the first opportunity for people in Wellington and Palmerston North to become familiar with the charter and its vision for a transformed New Zealand.
The Charter campaign represents an important new development on the left. It’s a charter for a fairer New Zealand and its bold objectives include -
“… the complete transformation of our society to serve the needs of the majority rather than the greed of the minority.”
A copy of the draft is attached.
Spokespeople for the Workers Charter are Unite Union organiser Matt McCarten and social justice campaigner John Minto.
The meetings next weekend are being held at -
* Wellington – 3.30pm on Saturday, 26 November, at Crossways Community House, cnr Brougham and Elizabeth St, Mt Victoria.
* Palmerston North – 2.00pm on Sunday, 27 November, at The Open Learning Centre, McDonalds Building, cnr Church St and The Square.
Media Representatives are welcome to attend and report on the meetings.
Draft Text of the Workers Charter
Every worker is a human being who deserves the right to dignity.
For that right to be at the heart of our society, workers need economic justice and democratic control over our future.
But what motivates society today is the selfish right of a privileged few to gather wealth from the productive majority.
Workers are mere commodities, exploited and discarded like any other. Our status in society is worsened by market competition, free trade and commercialisation of public assets.
The wealth of New Zealanders on the Rich List skyrockets. Meanwhile the living standards of the majority fall, and one in three children grow up in poverty here in Aotearoa.
Wars of conquest to control global resources, like the US colonisation of Iraq, expand corporate wealth and power at the cost of mass bloodshed and suffering.
Profit-driven exploitation of the environment is fueling global warming, an oil crisis and other threats to life on our planet.
The end result is massive growth in social inequality and environmental destruction. Our humanity and our environment have been sacrificed to the god of profit. Our ability to resist is undermined by laws that ban most strikes.
As a positive alternative, the Workers Charter promotes these core democratic rights:
1. The right to a job that pays a living wage and gives us time with our families and communities.
2. The right to pay equity for women, youth and casual workers.
3. The right to free public healthcare and education, and to liveable superannuation and welfare.
4. The right to decent housing without crippling mortgages and rents.
5. The right to public control of assets vital to community well-being.
6. The right to protect our environment from corporate greed.
7. The right to express our personal identity free from discrimination.
8. The right to strike in defence of our interests.
9. The right to organise for the transfer of wealth and power from the haves to the have-nots.
10. The right to unite with workers in other lands against corporate globalisation and war.
These rights can only be secured by workers organising to extend democracy into every sphere of the economy and the state. This will involve the complete transformation of our society to serve the needs of the majority rather than the greed of the minority.
The privileged few will resist fiercely. They will use their economic and political power to try to deny workers our rights.
A mass mobilisation around the Workers Charter can give us the strength to win the battle for democracy and reclaim our human dignity.

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