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!