WP leaflet on increased road user charges

Below is the text of a leaflet distributed by members of the Workers Party Auckland branch at the protest earlier today by truck drivers against the recently announced increase in road user charges.

Independence from the bosses – A workers’ response required in the campaign against rising cost of living

The boss class is to blame for the recent barrage of rising costs that is hitting working people in New Zealand and internationally. The following leaflet puts forward the Workers Party’s basic position on the increase to road user chargers.

Major companies are required to pay within the market system Should the major companies pay for the costs of maintaining the roads? We think that under a market system the major companies should be forced to pay but this should not be at the expense of their employees’ wages and conditions which such companies have been driving down for decades. If they were not called to pay, then the public would be bearing costs incurred while the companies make profits. However, it should also be understood that, within a market system, the employers’ profits come from the work that their employees do for them. Therefore, even if the companies lose profits, the main issue is that workers are able to increase real incomes.

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Don Franks on the importance of class in New Zealand

Appearing in a segment on yesterday’s Radio NZ “Ideas” program, Workers Party Wellington Central candidate Don Franks explains the reality behind the superficial rhetoric about New Zealand being a “classless” society.

Download the podcast here or the audio stream here

Oil workers’ union leader calls for an end to the US plunder of Iraq

On May 28, 2008, Chevron and ExxonMobil Corporations each conducted their annual shareholder meetings.

Chevron held its meeting at its world headquarters in San Ramon, Ca. ExxonMobil convened in Dallas, Texas. Antiwar, environmental and other social justice organisations conducted protests at each event.

The statement below from the Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq to the shareholders of each corporation was presented at press conferences conducted in conjunction with these protests. The statement was transmitted by Hassan Juma’a Awad, President of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, to US Labor Against the War for presentation at these events.

Original statement posted here

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Report on Marxism 2008 Educational Weekend

– Workers Party(NZ) reporters

Seventy-three people attended the Marxism 2008 conference in Grey Lynn, Auckland over Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Guest speakers and members of the Workers Party (NZ) – which organised the conference – came together to deliver presentations on a range of important issues and to generate discussions and ideas.

The political depth of the educational weekend was strong and presentations were well-received. Internationalist presentations and discussions were held at the beginning of the weekend and this helped give context for the weekend.

Babu Maharjan, a Nepali living in New Zealand, presented a brief history of the people’s war in Nepal that has led to expulsion of the monarchy and overwhelming success for the revolutionary party in the first fully-democratic election in that country, in which it gained a majority.

This was followed by debate about the nature of the economy in the new period in Nepal.

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No GST on beer!

Nearly 30 people joined the Workers Party today, taking our membership tally to 560. We aim to get 600 members before applying to register as a party.

Workers Party activists approached people going to the Warriors game in Auckland to join the party and to get in behind our campaign to get rid of GST. With posters saying “No GST on beer” we had lots of support and good conversations about how regressive taxes hurt working class people.