Sunday, September 17, 2006

Onehunga Community Picket a Big Success


Onehunga Community informational picket and
collection for 600 Locked Out workers
entering fourth week of lockout.

Fighting union busting and the attempt by a multinational
to starve them back to work.
More info at-

Just to let people know the picket was great. Comrades from Socialist Worker, the local Latin American Community Centre, Radical Youth and Luke from the NDU faced up to an early call of "'ll get the police on you- this is private land" and "You guys are too young to be in a fucking union" by a visibly disturbed fat, old, bald and grumpy store manager. We told him to go call them, telling him we would contact Councillor Robyn Hughes across the bridge, and have it out as to who owned the footpath.

IN the meantime we distributed over a thousand leaflets explaining what the lockout was about, with the 0900 number for donations. We collected $270 in donations in the Workers Charter bucket, giving every contributor a copy of the new paper with the No Surrender cover and the big centre spread jammed with pictures and workers voices. The cops came, but knew the manager had no leg to stand on. An imaginary line about a metre from Foodtown's entrance became the new demarcation line between public and private space, and a lot of checkout workers laughed as the manager became even more irate. We stayed on for another half hour, before going up to the picket in Favona and giving the bucket of cash into Big Joe and the welfare crew up at Progressive's gates.

The genorosity of Foodtown shoppers is amazing, and their disgust at the company is palpable. Many told us they would switch stores for the duration of the lockout. Community pickets can help win people to the boycott, spread good info about the strike and raise sorely needed funds and support for the workers. I'd recommend any crews out there to get one on as soon as possible.

Kia kaha
Joe C
Solidarity Union

Thursday, September 07, 2006

No Surrender! Victory to the New Unionists

by Joe Carolan

NO Surrender! is the battlecry on the picket lines of Auckland , Christchurch and Palmerston North, as 600 brave workers from the NDU defy Australian owned multinational Progressive's attempts to smash their union. And the stakes are high-

""In Auckland , the picket lines have been really staunch" said NDU organiser and Workers Charter supporter Luke Coxon. "Although the company is trying to starve the workers into submission, they are resolute and determined to fight on. What started off as a 48 hour stoppage in pursuit of one national agreement and equal pay for the same work done in all cities, turned into a Lockout when Progressive issued suspension notices. They said workers could only return to work if they submit to company demands, which now are attacking conditions already won. This is a huge showdown between Capital and Labour in this country, and the outcome will have a huge effect on all unions power and confidence for years to come. And people throughout Aotearoa know this".

"There has been massive solidarity from other workers and left organisations. Over $50,000 dollars has come in in donations in the last week, and trade unionists from MUNZ, Unite, the SFWU, the EPMU, the RMTU, SolidarityUnion and many many more have stood shoulder to shoulder with us. The honking of cars in support never stops. The community drops off food and other donations. There is huge public support for us and people want to see us win".

"Flying pickets have turned trucks away and confronted scabs, defying police and management intimidation. Customers leafleted have been overwhelmingly positive, with many boycotting Progressive stores and shopping elsewhere for the duration of this struggle. Most stores are now losing $55,000 a day- this is costing the company millions. And supermarket workers have been amazing- they see through the attempts by management to drive a wedge between their pay campaign and the distribution workers."

"The company was only offering NDU supermarket workers a derisory 2.6% this year. Union members voted to campaign for 7%. And they are holding strong, despite company attempts to bust the union by offering non union members pay rises, and threatening any supermarket worker who takes action with suspension and lockout".
The 2006 Lockout is shaping up to be this generation's 1951, as a decisive battle is fought between big business and the emerging, militant new unionism that has swept across Aotearoa in the last few years. Workers Charter wants to see our side win.

Boycott Progressive stores- Foodtown, Countdown and Wollworths.
Make a $20 donation by phoning 0900 5625 688 (0900 Lockout).
Support the picket lines and the flying pickets. Bring food and koha.
Victory to the NDU and the new Union movement!