This article by Jared Phillips, Fightback member, was originally published by the Socialist Party of Australia.
Workers in Aotearoa/NZ are applying in large numbers for scarce jobs, large-scale redundancies are becoming more frequent, record numbers of people are leaving the country, and the government is putting tougher tests on welfare recipients.
In a nutshell there are not enough jobs to go around and the National Party led government is placing the burden on ordinary people who were in no way responsible for this crisis.
At the end of the third quarter of 2012 the rate of unemployment was at 7.3% which is the highest rate recorded in Aotearoa/NZ since 1991. The number of officially unemployed had risen by 13,000 on the previous quarter. Youth unemployment was disproportionately high at 17.1%.
Last month 1600 people applied for 80 positions at a new supermarket in Blenheim, a town in the South Island. This is not uncommon. In Christchurch 1000 people applied for 170 new supermarket jobs last September. Also last year, a supermarket was still under construction in the city of Palmerston North when 600 people gave in applications at other locations of the supermarket chain. A manager reported that job applications were going in “before we even turned the dirt at the new store”. This illustrates that workers in Aotearoa/NZ are job-starved and desperate for work. [Read more...]