Workers must fight back against National Government's attacks

The Alliance Party says John Key’s announcement of attacks on working New Zealanders and their unions must be resisted.

Alliance Party industrial spokesperson Trevor Hanson says the union movement must lead the fight back against National’s announcement of policies that will smash the few protections workers have under current employment laws.

He says the intent of National’s attack on working people is aimed at creating a frightened and powerless working class who will be forced into accepting the unacceptable from aggressive employers.

“These changes such as the extension of fire at will and undermining of right of access to workplaces for unions will be a devastating blow for workers if they are allowed to be forced through.”

“National is selling off New Zealand, selling out New Zealanders and pushing us towards the status of a developing nation which will see poverty side by side with grotesque privilege.”

Mr Hanson says New Zealanders must defend our traditional values of fairness and decency before they are further eroded by the greed driven and immoral National Government.

He says the social fabric of New Zealand has been torn apart by right wing policies and deregulation which has created a class of working poor who cannot pay the bills.

Mr Hanson says many workers are surviving on casual jobs from day to day and their desperate situation would become worse if National’s anti-worker and anti-union policies continue.

“These New Zealanders can afford a mobile phone and a second hand imported car, but not healthy food, medical care or houses.”

He says communities have been hit hard by casual jobs, low wages and social disruption from economic insecurity.

“These problems are the result of the dog eat dog policies of successive Government’s who have allowed New Zealand to become an unequal, damaged society.”

Mr Hanson says the Alliance wants to help workers by improving wages, reducing casualization and getting rid of GST.

Disability support workers let down by National

The Alliance Party says residential support workers in the disability sector should be paid the minimum wage for sleepovers, and the Government needs to come to the party.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says it’s amazing the Government plans to give money to lawyers to help mount an appeal on the Employment Court ruling, rather than ensure that support workers are paid for being on the job.

The Employment Court has ruled that night workers be paid the minimum hourly rate while sleeping over at work premises.

“The money required to fix the problem is not a great amount compared to what the Government spend on all sorts of things,” says Ms Murray. Continue reading

National's holiday theft punishes children of the poor

Alliance Party industrial spokesperson Trevor Hanson says the National Government’s attacks on four weeks annual leave will rip away precious family time for New Zealanders – and with a stunning lack of empathy “the grinch party” have announced their policy at Christmas time.

He says the new policy that will allow the fourth week of holidays to be “sold” was a travesty.

“The ‘Minister of Grinchiness’ Kate Wilkinson must be very proud of an unfair policy that punishes the children of the poor.”

Mr Hanson says that allowing the fourth week of annual leave to be “cashed up” will mean hard pressed low and middle income families will be forced to give up family time while the well off will be able to afford to keep their extra holidays. Continue reading

Former maritime leader Trevor Hanson appointed Alliance Party spokesperson

The Alliance Party has announced its new spokesperson for employment relations, transport and fisheries as former waterfront and maritime leader Trevor Hanson.

Mr Hanson recently retired from his position as General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, and previous to that General Secretary of the Waterfront Workers Union.

He says that working class people in New Zealand have been under attack and have seen their share of wealth shrink even though they were working harder and longer. Continue reading

Free trade deals bringing Burma horrors closer to home, says Alliance

The Alliance Party says an international trade union campaign on the plight of Burmese workers is a embarrassing reminder that New Zealand is actively signing up to free trade deals involving the Burmese regime.

Alliance Party trade spokesperson Victor Billot says a new documentary from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) graphically illustrates the horrifying brutality of the Burmese regime, with which New Zealand is involved in free trade deals. Continue reading

Back the Wellington bus drivers!

Alliance Party Wellington Central candidate Richard Wallis says Wellingtonians should support their local bus drivers in their quest for better wages and conditions.

Over three hundred bus drivers have been locked out by their employer.

“Bus drivers have a responsible job and work hard. They get paid poor wages and they deserve a better deal.”

Mr Wallis says that public transport is of huge importance to New Zealand.

“How can local and central Government be serious about promoting public transport when they stand back and allow the workforce to be treated like this?” Continue reading

Alliance Party says new Air New Zealand air crew email to customers a "crass bribe"

The Alliance Party has slammed an email letter to Air New Zealand customers where CEO Rob Fyfe dismisses extensive media coverage of underpaid Chinese air crews as “misleading” and offers “ludicrously low fares” to China.

Alliance Party co-leader Victor Billot says the letter’s contents are “crass and patronizing.”

The email from Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe praises the abilities of Chinese air crew – while stating that Chinese crew “are paid on a par with their New Zealand-based counterparts on an hours-worked basis.”

Mr Billot says “Rob Fyfe knows his Chinese air crew are unhappy. That’s why they talked to the press. There is nothing misleading about media reports on this scandal. The underpaid Chinese air crew who spoke out took a major risk to do so as they do not have access to independent trade unions or media coverage in their own country – a situation Mr Fyfe would no doubt like to see duplicated in New Zealand.”
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