Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why You Need to Join Unite!:

Why you need to Join Unite! Union- and Waitemata Unite!

Unite! is a Community Union
Unite! is for low paid and casual workers, and for those who may not be in paid work for any reason, such as unemployment, illness disability, studying or parenting. We are all members of a community or whanau. We are all members of the working class. Unemployment rates are soaring. The government is not interested in creating suitable jobs that meet our needs or family responsibilities. It doesn’t value the contributions we make. It just wants to cut spending on benefits, and make us look for non- existent work. It is about to implement a number of the beneficiary bashing recommendations of the Welfare Working Group. Its basic philosophy is that ‘work makes us free’. To drive home this message it’s proposing to abolish most benefits and combine them into a lower-paid ‘Jobseeker Allowance’. Note that instead of a ‘benefit’ to which we have a right, it is called an ‘allowance’ so that we are only ‘allowed’ to get it if we seek jobs. This shifts the responsibility away from society to create jobs, onto us to find jobs. If we don’t find them because they aren’t there, or if we refuse to work for a starvation wage, or get sacked under the 90 Day Act for no reason, we are going to be blamed as ‘lazy bludgers’.

Unite! is a Union for Low Paid and Casual Workers
Unite is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing unions with over 10,000 members. Many young people who had never been in a union before are now proud Unite members. We are a lively and strong union who have had many successes! We successfully campaigned to abolish youth rates. Many of our members, such as those in the fast food industry, now have better wages and conditions protected by collective contracts. Most recently the Unite! ‘UTU’ squads of activists have successfully picketed bosses sacking workers under the 90 Day Act and lockouts of workers like at Skycity. Low paid workers are learning that when we unite together and stand strong, we can win!

Unite! is a Union for Unpaid Workers
Mothers are bringing up the future workers of our society. Carers care for the sick and elderly. Students work hard on their studies and still have to make ends meet in their spare time! Many of us do voluntary work, and help our communities. Now the Welfare Working Group is proposing that mothers and fathers on what is now the Domestic Purposes Benefit must work when their youngest child becomes 3yrs old. And if you have a child while on the DPB you will be punished and forced to go to work when the child reaches 14 weeks! Child centres will be allowed to take up to 75 under 2yrs with only 5 staff to look after them! Baby farming under 2’s while the mums and dads are turned into slave labourers! Join Unite! Fight against forced wage labour for mothers and baby farming for under 2’s and for the right to a living benefit!

The Fight against Work Tested Benefits and the 90 Day ‘Fire-at-Will’ Act
The 2010 Social Security Amendment Act came into effect last October. Mothers with children over six , and those on sickness benefits, have joined those on unemployment benefits in having to be available for paid work, whether it suits our family or health needs or not. Those on invalids’ benefits are being forced off them, losing $50 per week and having to look for work too! We will be punished by having half our benefits slashed if we don’t comply. If we still don’t comply after four weeks, our benefits are stopped altogether! Whenever we apply for a benefit, we face a thirteen week stand down if we left a previous job “for no good reason’ or were sacked for “misconduct”. Now the 90 Day ‘Fire-At-Will’ Act means that we could be sacked from a job for no reason, and then could face a benefit stand down for another 91 days for being sacked!

What’s Behind the Welfare Reform plans for Major Cuts in Social Welfare?
Why has the Welfare Working Group and Treasury proposed to savagely reduce our rights even further? Columnist Michael Laws calls us “ferals” and wants all benefits stopped to stop us “breeding”. John Key says that nobody would starve if all welfare was abolished. The WWG ‘razor gang’ wants all beneficiaries to be work tested and penalised if they do not take offered work. Invalid and Sickness beneficiaries will be medically reviewed and pressured into work. To cover up this trick they propose to eliminate benefits and combine them into a single ‘Jobseeker Allowance’. The effect will be to push people into meaningless work on poverty wages to drive down all wages towards the minimum. Meanwhile the government has raised the minimum wage by a miserable 25cents to $13 an hour when GST, food, petrol, rents etc costs will rise at over 4% plus this year. So that is a minimum wage cut! They are legislating to create a huge pool of poor people competing for non-existent or rubbish jobs while the rich are getting tax cuts and companies are getting bailouts. The government says its reforms will create jobs. Yes, the employers will be encouraged to create more minimum wage jobs on poverty wages to boost their profits!

This is why you need Unite! Unite! can fight these laws!
Unite! fights for the rights of employed and beneficiaries!
Waitemata Unite! is a branch of the Unite! union

 If you are a paid worker, Unite! will represent you in any disputes with your employer. If you become unemployed, you can still be a member of Unite!

If you are a beneficiary Waitemata Unite! will support you if you have troubles with WINZ getting the benefit you are entitled to. We will attend WINZ appointments with you, and can call a picket if WINZ persists in treating someone unfairly.

Unite! is picketing employers who sack any worker under the 90 Day legislation. We intend to make this law unworkable!

Lower benefits mean lower wages! Employed and unemployed need to Unite! for a living income for all ! Join Unite! Fight for a living benefits and a living wages! Waitemata Unite will fight every unjust benefit stand down!

These employment and benefit laws are unjust, and they must be changed! We need to stand strong and show the Government we will not take it!

Workers in paid employment can go on strike. Beneficiaries can refuse to go shopping or take our kids out on a demonstration instead of doing the housework. We can all go on pickets. We need to support each other. Together we are strong.

We meet every 3rd Saturday of the month at 11 am at the Avondale Community Centre, and have regular pickets and forums.

Come along, have a cuppa, get involved!

Unemployed and Employed, Join Waitemata Unite today!

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