Recession and Redundancy

The Spark October 2009
John Edmundson

As the recession has bitten, redundancies have risen and unemployment figures have begun to climb, Labour’s Darien Fenton has had her Private Member’s Bill drawn from the ballot. The Bill would enforce a minimum redundancy payout on all employers, starting at four weeks pay after one year of employment. The Labour Party of course is the party that introduced the Employment Relations Act, which does not even provide a definition of the word redundancy, let alone provide significant protection for workers. New Zealand workers actually have no legal right to redundancy compensation and very few have provision for it in their contracts.

Workers at LWR’s Wairarapa sites who were made redundant earlier this year have been told that they are unlikely to receive any more than seventy percent of their entitlement in redundancy and holiday pay. Approximately eighty percent of staff with written employment agreements (contracts) have no redundancy provisions at all according to a Massey University survey commissioned for the Department of Labour’s Restructuring and Redundancy Public Advisory Group. [Read more...]

The state of the working class

The Spark October 2009
Philip Ferguson

The recession has been officially declared over, thanks to 0.1% economic growth in the last quarter. The government and various economic experts agree, however, that more jobs will be lost over the next year to 18 months.

In The Spark, we’ve consistently argued that the current global recession is nothing like on a par with the Great Depression of the 1930s nor is it the worst global downturn since then. Current trends suggest we made the right call, while many on the left vastly overplayed the degree of economic crisis. However, we’ve also pointed out that it is equally important to remember that this is actually about as good as it gets under capitalism these days – short mini-booms, often in the artificial economy, followed by recessions, with workers usually ending up worse off after each recovery than they were after the previous recovery. [Read more...]

PFLP: Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is a mockery

Reprinted from the PFLP website. To help raise funds for the PFLP, click here.

The awarding of U.S. President Barack Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize is an absurdity that undermines any meaning or legitimacy of the prize, said a spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on October 9, 2009.

The PFLP spokesperson said that while there are numerous notorious recipients of the prize, including Henry Kissinger and Shimon Peres, both proud war criminals, the awarding of the prize to Obama, while he presides over two wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, threatens a new war against Iran, and continues to unreservedly support the occupation, subjugation and aggression against the Palestinian people, is a slap in the face to the people of the world struggling to throw off the chains of U.S. imperialism.

[Read more...]

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