Along with Green MP Keith Locke I attended the CTU rally in Auckland today. 7,000 wage and salary earners gathered in Manukau to express their anger and concern at the actions of this National government. They were part of actions in 30 locations throughout New Zealand with 22,000 people participating.
The Auckland rally was a very powerful gathering. Strong statements were made against the removal of rights – the right to challenge unfair dismissals, the right to see your union representative on site, the right to rest and meal breaks, the right to have holidays.
At the end I was asked by a journalist whether I thought the Government would listen. I responded that while they should listen I expected that they would not. This Government is going to force through this backward looking suite of attacks on working people. These changes will not lift workplace productivity, lift wages or close the wage gap with Australia – quite the contrary! We will all be worse off as a consequence.
The speakers today reflected concerns that I am hearing throughout the community. These attacks are not well received in the community and for many this is further evidence of a Government out of touch with the views and reality of many New Zealanders.