Below is the text of a leaflet distributed by members of the Workers Party Auckland branch at the protest earlier today by truck drivers against the recently announced increase in road user charges.
Independence from the bosses - A workers’ response required in the campaign against rising cost of living
The boss class is to blame for the recent barrage of rising costs that is hitting working people in New Zealand and internationally. The following leaflet puts forward the Workers Party’s basic position on the increase to road user chargers.
Major companies are required to pay within the market system Should the major companies pay for the costs of maintaining the roads? We think that under a market system the major companies should be forced to pay but this should not be at the expense of their employees’ wages and conditions which such companies have been driving down for decades. If they were not called to pay, then the public would be bearing costs incurred while the companies make profits. However, it should also be understood that, within a market system, the employers’ profits come from the work that their employees do for them. Therefore, even if the companies lose profits, the main issue is that workers are able to increase real incomes.
Trouble for owner-operators is caused by bosses associations
Increasingly, with the growth of sub-contracting networks, workers are becoming more vulnerable as they are not part of a fully-socialised or large workplace. This is especially true for drivers.
One of the vulnerabilities is the easiness with which the government can isolate sub-contracted workers - who currently have little class power through being self-employed. The bosses have imposed casualisation and self-employment with loss of benefits. This whole process of segmenting the workforce has been carried out by organisations of the capitalist class such as the Business Roundtable, Business New Zealand and the Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Association.
We support unionisation as a way forward for improving wages, conditions, and livelihoods of truck drivers. Historically, drivers have been a backbone of the union movement. This was eroded in the 1980s and 1990s because the wider union movement was unable to withstand attacks from both Labour and National governments. If unions are built on workers’ self-activity and workers control - rather than on relationships with the government - a union movement can be built that can withstand the attacks from the ruling class.
This is the type of union movement that the Workers Party wants to help build.
Campaign against GST for better incomes
Our position is that workers should not be concerned with the boss’s profit margins. Our position is that what is important in this situation is the maintenance and growth of workers incomes and livelihoods. As well as campaigning for better incomes through the union movement, we are also contributing to raising public awareness against GST. GST does not hurt the bosses and the wealthy like it hurts working people. Working people spend a greater portion of income on GST than the wealthy. Also, the employer’s can pass the costs of GST on to workers by putting up their prices to absorb their GST costs.
The Workers Party will be standing in this year’s general election. This will be the first time an anti-capitalist organisation has stood nationally in general elections in New Zealand.
Published by Workers Party (NZ). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone Jared Phillips (Auckland Branch Organiser) 0294949863.
Leaflet authorised by Rebecca Broad, 2/789 Mt. Eden Road, Auckland.