Don Franks in The Spark December 2007.
A recent New Zealand Council of Trade Unions press statement reads in full:
“Griffins proposal to close its manufacturing plant will be felt by both the workers there, and the wider Lower Hutt community,” CTU secretary Carol Beaumont said tonight.
“Lower Hutt is a strong centre of manufacturing, and has suffered a number of job losses in recent years.”
“This announcement will be extremely distressing for the workers on site, who have very real concerns about the influence of private equity on their security of work.”
“The food manufacturing industry is a vital part of the New Zealand economy. Ultimately it would be very upsetting to see these jobs go,” Carol Beaumont said.
Well, of course it would be, and the point for workers is not to just state the obvious, but to do something about it. As it stands, that CTU statement is just a pathetic waste of ink. For too long there has been a top-level union attitude that plant closures are some sort of natural calamity to be briefly mourned before moving along to the next business.
In fact redundancies are a direct result of the capitalist system, where private property ownership is valued over workers livelihoods. Redundancies and the antihuman system which allows them can and should be fought. This issue of the Spark gives information and ideas showing how this necessary fight can be carried out.