We Don’t Need Mondelez, Mondelez Needs Us

When Kraft, parent company of Mondelez, staged a hostile takeover of Cadbury in 2009, it was not interested in Cadbury’s factories. Factories are two a penny. What it was after was the brand, and with it the markets. Where the products were made was irrelevant.

The enterprising and innovative CEO’s of the big multinationals have got it all worked out. Maximum profits for minimum effort. Why bother to create and establish a market for your own brand of product? You can use your investors’ money to buy an established company that has done all the hard work, keep the brands you want and eliminate the competition in one foul swoop by closing down their plants. Continue reading

John Key’s New Zealand: Warner Brothers get subsidies, New Zealand rail industry workers get redundancy notices

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says it is highly symbolic that Prime Minister John Key was in Los Angeles dining with Warner Brothers at same time as Kiwirail workers at Dunedin’s Hillside workshops were being handed their redundancy letters.

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Day of shame for National Government and KiwiRail management

The Alliance Party says Friday 15 July is a shameful day for New Zealand, as a shipment of Chinese built railway wagons are unloaded in Tauranga, less than twenty four hours after it was announced over 40 wagon builders at Hillside workshops will be made redundant. Continue reading

Job losses at Hillside caused by National’s “great betrayal”

The Alliance Party says today’s announcement of 41 job losses at Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops is the result of a “great betrayal” of New Zealand by John Key and his National Government.
Alliance Party spokesperson Trevor Hanson says the announcement of 41 job losses at Hillside was the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister and his policies.

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Taihape situation shows dangers of private health providers

The failure of Otaihape Health Trust to manage its budget shows the danger of relying on private providers to service New Zealand’s health needs, says Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Tom Dowie.
The trust which runs the majority of Taihape’s health services is facing bankruptcy and is trying to get staff to take massive pay cuts to stave off bankruptcy.
“This is a situation where management budgeting failures have resulted in demands that hard working nurses, who are the backbone of any health service, are being asked to take massive pay cuts, or lose their jobs.”
Mr Dowie backed calls from nursing staff for a statutory manager to take over the running of Taihape’s health service.
“When admin expenses increase threefold in one year, someone has lost sight of the primary reason for the service, which is health care. The sooner a statutory manager is appointed, the better.”
The Alliance Party believes that health is a Government responsibility and should be delivered by the Government.
“Trusts can always wind up and walk away from their responsibility and the Government should not be supporting this risky form of health provision”.

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.

Rail campaign Dunedin meeting attracts positive public response

A public meeting in South Dunedin to support the campaign to build new trains for Auckland in New Zealand workshops attracted around 50 people on Monday 12 July 2010.
The message they heard was that Dunedin people will have to stand up and fight to make this goal a reality, with this years local body elections and next years national elections providing an opportunity to apply political pressure.
Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) Hillside Branch Secretary Les Ingram, who works at Hillside, said an estimated 500 to 1200 extra jobs and nearly $500 million dollars in income were at stake.
“Dunedin cannot afford to let opportunities like this pass it by if we want to provide jobs for local people in the future.”
The RMTU were continuing their campaign and wanted to get across to the public how building rail units locally would provide a massive boost in jobs and income.
The Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) is supporting the RMTU campaign and MUNZ General Secretary Joe Fleetwood, visiting from Wellington, addressed the meeting on free trade issues.
He told the audience that they needed to get behind the Hillside workers campaign and demand that politicians listen.
He said the push for free trade policies was largely responsible for the situation where jobs were threatened due to unbalanced economic policies.
Both speakers agreed that the notion that New Zealand did not have the expertise to do the rail work was discredited nonsense.
Mr Ingram detailed previous work done at Hillside and his view was backed up by a retired engineer in the audience who recounted the many large scale projects other Dunedin firms have undertaken in the past.
The meeting was chaired by Victor Billot of the Alliance Party who said that highly skilled, high value jobs that would be created through building trains locally were exactly what was needed in New Zealand at the current time.
The approach of the National Government was reprehensible, he said.