Green Left Weekly: Wharfies beat lockout

This article by Workers Party member Joel Cosgrove originally appeared in Green Left Weekly.

In what has been described as New Zealand’s most high-profile and bitter industrial dispute since the early 1990s, waterside workers went back to work, after a four-week strike. Auckland’s port company agreed to end its lockout of 235 workers on March 30, and pay workers a week’s wages for being illegally locked out.

The New Zealand Herald reported that Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe told a huge workers’ meeting: “You’ll all go back to your jobs and until you go back you’ll all get paid.

“Everything we have done has fallen into place, thanks to your solidarity.” [Read more...]

Meat industry dispute reveals need to re-organise entire working class on militant basis

By writers for The Spark

The livelihoods of thousands of working class people in New Zealand are being attacked by Talleys Group Ltd, a New Zealand-based private company which owns AFFCO meat-processing plants and has locked out freezing workers throughout the North Island.

Background

As one of the largest meat operations in New Zealand, Talleys operates nine AFFCO freezing works plants. For decades AFFCO has been a source of employment in provincial areas and the workforce is often generational. Through generations of genuine rank-and-file unionism, freezing workers in AFFCO as well as other plants owned by other meat processing companies were able to achieve relatively strong wages and conditions by comparison to other industries.

On Febraury 29 the company locked out of over 700 workers which led to the beginning of picketing on March 2 at the Moerewa (in Northland), Wiri (in South Auckland), Horotiu (in North Waikato), Rangiuru (near Te Puke), Hawkes Bay (at Napier), and Manawatu (at Fielding), and Wairoa (in Northern Hawkes Bay) plants. On March 2 the union correctly called all members who were not locked-out into strike action. In turn the company then began locking-out strikers who were not covered by the original lockout notices, for example, a further 200 more workers were locked-out at Rangiuru. The union then called further 24-hour and 48-hour strikes including those which started on March 6, March 12, and March 22. Daily pickets are taking place at some plants. [Read more...]

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