Solidarity against CMP lockout, Auckland fundraiser, Christchurch picket

November 2, 2011

On October 29 we reported on the current CMP meat industry lockout and fundraising efforts (see article here). We enourage all Auckland readers of this website to attend the upcoming fundraiser at Trades Hall, which appears to be organised by Socialist Aoteroa members and other progressives. We encourage all readers or sympathisers in Christchurch to join the picket against CMP at its head offices initiated by Occupy Christchurch.

The details of these events are below, slighlty adapted from the November 2 Global Peace and Justice Auckland newsletter. Donations are still encouraged and requested so please donate to Disputes Fund (name of account) 38-9007-0894028-08 (account number)

Auckland Fundraiser: 6pm, Friday, November 4, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd:

SOLIDARITY WITH LOCKED OUT MARTON WORKERS http://www.facebook.com/groups/211101752294033/ 6pm, Friday, November 4, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Auckland: Friday fundraiser for the locked out Marton Meat Workers: 6pm, Fri Nov 4, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn. Music from Lubin Rains (Vietnam War) and Caoimhe Macfehin (Drab Doo Riffs, Heart Attack Alley). Paul Brown, Scottish folk musician$10 donation on the door. All cash raised going to feed the families of the locked out meat workers. Don’t let them get starved back to work. http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2011/11/friday-fundraiser-for-locked-out-marton.html


CMP picket line

Christchurch - Picket CMP Head Office, 2pm, Saturday, March 5, 100 Carmen Rd:

(The following was part of a statement made by Occupy Christchurch)

At 2pm on Saturday 5th November Occupy Christchurch along with unions, workers campaign groups and local solidarity networks will take to the streets to bring some much needed attention to the plight of the 111 locked-out Canterbury Meat Packer workers. On Saturday 5th November, from 2pm ANZCO Foods Australasia & New Zealand Meat Marketing Office on 100 Carmen Rd will be the stage for an act of solidarity and opportunity to gather some much needed funding for those effected.

CMP is a subsidiary of the multinational corporation ANZCO which supplies New Zealand meat throughout the World. “For almost 2 weeks the unionised workforce at CMP’s Rangitikei’s lamb plant have been locked out by their bosses. Their crime? Not accepting up to a 30% pay cut and a significant decrease in hours.

The 111 workers and their families are now being starved out until they either accept the deal or with the support of the people of Aotearoa beat these disgusting acts of bad faith!” Stated Union Organiser and participant of Occupy Christchurch, Matt Jones. An urgent fund has been set up and money is beginning to pour in - “however with so many mouths to feed there is still a lot to do.” Continued Mr Jones.

“International pressure on this group will also be paramount for the future of our brothers and sisters in Rangitikei. Networking and campaigning in solidarity against big business who put profit before people and hold entire communities to ransom is something the Occupy Movement, combined with unions and the various workers rights campaign groups has the potential to smash and put into the history books ” Concluded Mr Jones. Occupy Christchurch has been based at South Hagley Park for more than two weeks. In support of the Occupy Wall Street phenomena the group hold open daily general assemblies, weekend ‘free markets’ and have been busy networking with community groups and organisations. More information on this picket and updates can be found at http://www.occupychristchurch.org.nz and by using the search term ‘occupy christchurch’ in Facebook.


November issue of The Spark

November 2, 2011

Read the November issue here

At the end of this month New Zealand will hold a general election. While current polls might lead us to be cynical about voting, we need to remember that our right to vote was fought for by previous generations and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Woman gained the right to vote in this country though a massive popular movement in the latter part of the 19th century. We should be aware that Kate Sheppard believed “All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome” and saw the gaining women’s’ suffrage as part of that struggle.

We should also remember that in addition to women being denied the vote, there was a time when most men were too.  Originally voting was a privilege reserved for land owning men,  a democracy only for those who made up the capitalist class.  In New Zealand in the 19th century, this excluded Maori who owned land in common, and most of the largely itinerant working class- miners, shearers, sailors- who often had no fixed abode, let alone their own land.

The right for working class men to vote in this part of the world was won by a rebellion of miners at the Eureka Stockade in Victoria, Australia in 1854. Fearing that a similar rebellion could take place on this side of the Tasman, the colonial government enacted Victoria’s suffrage laws, and working class men could now vote. Perhaps it’s fitting then that this issue of The Spark puts a focus on miners.

Marking the one year anniversary of the Pike River Mine disaster and the on-going official inquiry, we are publishing an abridged article from the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Unions looking at the safety concerns at the mine. Labour historian Jared Davidson writes about the role miners have played in the New Zealand labour movement and we examine the position of the West Coast- a region largely dependent on mining- in the context of capitalism.

Also looked at this month is the Occupy Movement, which began in the US (though no doubt inspired by events that began in North Africa) and in October spread around the world. We print the press releases from the occupations taking place in New Zealand cities and an article from the Socialist Party of Australia, looking at the police repression of Occupy Melbourne. It seems a century and a half from Eureka those who right for democratic rights will still be met with state repression. Further coverage of the Occupy movement will appear in our next issue.

Elsewhere in these pages we cover the Rena Oil Spill, the New Zealand tour of S’bu Zikode, a leader of the shack dwellers movement in South Africa, the death of Steve Jobs, and the right to strike.  The October issue, which features an article on each of the parliamentary parties  as well as an article about the importance of retaining MMP in the referendum, will  continue to be circulated between now and the election, and is available wherever you get The Spark.

 - Byron Clark, November issue coordinating editor.

 

 


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