INDEPENDENT NEWS

Biggest worker protests in a decade reject laws

Published: Wed 20 Oct 2010 02:02 PM
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.
Council of Trade Unions
Te Kauae Kaimahi
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi brings together over 350,000 New Zealand union members in 40 affiliated unions. We are the united voice for working people and their families in New Zealand.
Contact NZCTU
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Level 7, West Block, Education House, 178 Willis St, Wellington.
Media Contact:
huiaw@nzctu.org.nz
Postal Address:
PO Box 6645, Marion Square, Wellington 6141.

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