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Help build solidarity in Auckland

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The gap between rich and poor is growing: we have the 6th biggest gap amongst developed countries.

We are overworked: we have the second highest rate of average hours worked per year per capita in the OECD.

We are underpaid: two-thirds of kiwis earn less than two-thirds of the average wage ($16.35), the International Labour Organisation's target for a liveable wage.

Casualisation is increasing and contract workers still do not have the right to organise.

The cost of living keeps going up: Food increased by 45% in the past 10 years, the second highest in the world. The Government expects the cost of living in March 2011 to increase by a record 5.9%.

Unsurprisingly we are ranked the world's most business friendly country.

Despite a deteriorating standard of living  industrial action has dropped to record lows and community-based direct action on a national scale is almost non-existent.

Despite nine years of the Labour Party 79% of workers are still not organised in a union. Even with higher pay and better conditions than non-union worksites, unions have only grown slightly despite research showing workers would join if asked. Unions are hamstrung by bargaining for single company agreements (contracts) and rely heavily on the legal entitlements of an anti-union employment framework. Successful campaigns like 5% in ’05, SupersizeMyPay.com, the Progressive Lockout and Hospital Lockout have not led to major changes or reforms in the union movement.

Many community organisations have been reduced to service-providers.

Now National is showing its true colours.

It’s time we built a fighting grassroots organisation so the working-class can win things for themselves through their own efforts, not by relying on others.

We can start by building a network of activists and delegates in the community and across different workplaces (including non-union sites) and unions.

We need to share successful tactics for bread and butter issues and develop a strategy that goes beyond enterprise bargaining and community service-provision that rebuilds working class confidence and challenges the power of capitalists.

Such a network would work with existing community groups and unions, organise in new (or old) ways and provide alternative strategies to the status-quo and conservative strategies of the leadership.

A network based on direct action, not partnership or lobbying the Labour Party: we can only win serious concessions from management or the government when we take direct action.

If you would like to help us build a network email your name, contact phone number and email to solidarityaotearoa@gmail.com. We will organise a meeting shortly to discuss all of your ideas!

Comments

the network already exists

this network already exists informally, attempts by people to hijack it and coopt it for their own political ideologies is unhelpful.

everyone already knows who are the main  workplace organisers and activists who have the credibility to lead the rank and file network. It isn't anon here, who probably isn't even a union member or ever gone on strike.

Hi, my bad. I didn't realise

Hi, my bad. I didn't realise it was anonymous - it was my post.I am heavily involved in the workplace as an organiser and volunteer large amounts of time to the union  movement.

The goal is to link up informal groups and to share information and experiences and encourage debate - not to control them. The point is that all of informal groups don't know who all of the other organisers and activists are and outside of union's plans there isn't anything being co-ordinated. Of course the idea is to promote organising. This is only a meeting to discuss ideas. If you are in Auckland I encourage you to come - there are no fixed ideas. However - this is about organising with a focus on self-organising, direct action.

That aside - I don't agree with your arguement that more organising isn't required. If we already had strong networks then we wouldn't be in the situation we are in. For example, what about the workplaces that currently don't get any support from a union because they aren't unionisable because of their size and because there are more strategic sites to put resources into. If we had listened to what unions told us we would never have organised supersizemypay.com and effectively got rid of youth rates and lifted the minimum wage.

SimonO

Sorry that was poorly

Sorry that was poorly written. Of course the key focus on grassroots organising is a fixed idea. As an example have a look at www.labornotes.org which plays an important role in the union movement in the US. They promote rank and file strategies without coopting them.