Telecom lines engineers begin nationwide strike Tuesday 11 August

August 11, 2009

Telecom lines engineers will begin a second round of nationwide strike action over their employers’ refusal to offer redundancy protection at a time of uncertainty in the industry.

The nationwide strike action will affect Telecom’s phone, internet and eftpos services from Invercargill to Kerikeri, and will involve 900 workers from Telecom’s Australian-owned contractors Transfield Services and Downer EDI.

The action comes as North Shore lines engineers enter their fifth day of ongoing strike action.

EPMU national industry organiser Joe Gallagher says the lines engineers are striking for redundancy protections in an industry increasingly destabilised by Telecom’s contracting model.

 Join the strikers in Tuesday 11 August, at 9am Hopetoun Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Solidarity with Pyongtaek workers

August 10, 2009

molotovOn August the 6th, Korean workers concluded their occupation of a car plant in Pyongtaek. For 77 days, these workers resisted attacks by scabs and police officers, demanding their right to jobs. Now as the state takes them on in court, they’re asking for continued solidarity from international workers.

The Workers Party is organising a picket outside the Korean embassy:
ASB Tower, 2 Hunter St
Thursday 13th August, noon

Stop the SAS return to Afghanistan

August 10, 2009
Picket outside of the Court of Appeal, corner of Molesworth and Aitken St WELLINGTON  8AM - 9.30 AM

The picket coincides with the Court of Appeal hearing for an anti-warwpbanner protester convicted of burning the NZ flag at anti-war protest in 2007. It also coincides with the government’s announcement of the return of the SAS to combat in Afghanistan. All welcome…and please pass it on…

Organised by Peace Action Wellington

Pyeongtaek Factory Occupation, South Korea

August 5, 2009

By Spark correspondents  

Over one thousand South Korean factory workers are currently occupying the only Ssangyong Motor Company car manufacturing plant in the city of Pyeongtaek, near Seoul. The workers have been occupying the plant since May 22nd this year in response to the company announcing it would lay off over two thousand workers. Ssangyong filed for bankruptcy in February this year because of falling car sales which saw it abandoned by its Chinese parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. Read the rest of this entry »

National’s McJob Creation Scheme

August 5, 2009

The Spark August 2009
Byron Clark


The government has made a deal with fast food giant McDonald’s in which young people receiving the unemployment benefit will be sent to jobs in McDonald’s restaurants, and have their ‘training’ subsidised by the state. Every beneficiary McDonald’s hires will get the company up to $16,000 which is the equivalent of about 8 months wages for a McDonalds worker. Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett is citing the relationship with the golden arches as an example of “the Government’s commitment to getting beneficiaries into jobs,” but while the growing number of unemployed certainly need jobs, McDonald’s needs workers a whole lot more, and this is what the scheme is really about.

Fast food is a growth industry during this recession, as people who would have previously eaten at more up-market restaurants lower their budgets. McDonald’s in New Zealand is continuing to build on its profits, enough to open a number of new outlets. They need to employ an estimated 6,000 workers over the next few years. The reason? Those workers are where their profit comes from. The company can provide an investment to build a new store with all the cooking and food preparing equipment that requires, but it can’t see a return on that investment until labour (ie, workers) is added. A McDonald’s worker doing an eight hour shift for minimum wage will be paid $100, but by turning raw materials (buns, meat patties, frozen Happy Meals, that worker could produce $200 for the company. Without the worker, McDonald’s couldn’t realise a profit. Read the rest of this entry »

Australia builds military capacity

August 5, 2009

The Spark August 2009
Joel Cosgrove


Continuing a precedent followed over most of the last decade, the Australian government has increased the military budget well above inflation, with a 56% increase in the last seven years and 9% in the last year, to $25.66 billion dollars, with expectations that it will rise to $29.47 billion in 2010, a rise of 12.9%.

This is an important development in the attempts by the Australian ruling establishment in their move away from the traditional Australian defence position of border control and response to one of regional projection and incursion to maintain and develop Australia’s interests. Read the rest of this entry »


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