Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lively protest and march from WINZ to Bennett's Office, Wednesday

Unite Waitemata members and friends gathered with banners and placards ;  and handed out  leaflets  at Henderson WINZ on Wednesday;  about the new legislation attacking mothers, older women, and youth.  Several beneficiaries  expressed great interest and joined our union on the spot!  Then we marched to Paula Bennett's Office up the road.   Again we met with great public support, including from a wharfie who promised us support from wharfies, on  our May Day March for  Single Mothers Rights.

(Wharfies are at present in a life and death struggle against scab labour,  corporatisation and privatisation down at the waterfront! Everybody needs to get down there immediately to support them!!)

Remember everyone- our next big protest about the welfare cuts will be on May 1st-May Day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Social Security Amendment Bill (Youth Support and Work Focus) Introduced

Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

Protest 1 May, 1pm, Aotea Square, 1.30pm Pram Parade to WINZ Queen St

Welfare Rights are Under Attack!
Stand Up Fight Back!
             Stop National’s Attacks upon Mothers and Babies, 
                                          Older Women and Youth!

Stop National passing the Social Security Amendment Bill !

May Day Pram Parade
Celebrating the Work of Mothers,
Tuesday 1st May, 2012 , International Workers Day
1pm : Assemble Aotea Square, Queen St
1.30pm Pram and Push Chair Parade
to  WINZ,  Upper Queen St

Occupy WINZ and hand out  teddies and soft toys to children
Bring your prams, push chairs, toys and children!

Social Welfare not Corporate Welfare! Don’t separate mothers from children!
Living Benefits Now!     8369104   0272800080

Fight the NACTs Workfare!

Mothers are workers.    

The NACT  (National/ACT) Govt is making a problem where none exists. DPB mothers do valuable essential work and are not even paid for it.  Contrary to NACTS alarmist cries, only 1%  of single mothers are on the DPB for more than 10 years. Forcing a mother who has a child while on a benefit  to separate from  her child when the child turns one year old, is a cruel attack upon the both the  baby and its mother. But the NACTS plan to force mothers of one year old babies into full time work if their older child is over fourteen; and into part time work if their older child is over five!   Whilst only 5% of mothers have children while on the DPB, this government is going out of its way to discriminate against the second child!  Sexist, racist beneficiary bashers accuse single mothers of exploiting the system. Not the DPB mothers!  Not us!  We receive no more than $1.8 billion a year to do the most demanding job in society! Cuts in childcare will put our children at risk. Compare the $1.6 billion to corporate welfare bailout South Canterbury Finance alone. The biggest drains are the Big four Banks owned by Australian banks which made $32 billion in profits in 2011. The real welfare cheats are the corporates and banks that suck many $billions out of the economy every year exploiting low paid workers and creating the poverty that breaks up families and leave mothers raising children alone. Single mothers are not the problem, the bosses with big bank balances are. So why are we being demonised and forced to do paid as well as unpaid work rather than look after our children fulltime on a living benefit?

Why workfare? 

When the welfare state was conceived in the 1930s there was a family benefit which recognised that the cost of raising children had to be paid for. It acknowledged that mothers perform the unpaid labour of raising children to become wage workers and so subsidise the wages paid by the employers.  Labour introduced the DPB in 1974 as a support for single mothers. Thus taxes on profits were used to partially pay for the unpaid labour of single mothers to raise the next generation of wage workers. Why then are single mothers now being forced into paid as well as unpaid work? They must double up with two jobs, one unpaid and one paid. There is no way their wage will cover employing decent childcare or someone to do the housework. Getting a low paid job just means that they do a ‘double shift’ – unpaid work is done on top of paid work.

Cheap labour 

Why? First, we have to look at the wider economy and the global crisis facing capitalism for the answer. Capitalism is in a crisis of falling profits and to restore their profits the capitalists have to drive down wages. The NZ economy is weak and in debt. The bosses are making the working class pay for their crisis. The NACTs philosophy is to create more low paid jobs by cutting wages. Forcing DPB mothers to work part time when the youngest child is 5yrs and fulltime when the youngest is 14 years makes them compete for jobs thus driving down wages. This will add around 30, 000 workers to the job queue joining the 150,000 registered unemployed. This makes workers fight one another for low paid, casualised jobs. So as wages fall, profits will rise due to the extra wealth created by low paid workers.

Demonising single mothers

Second, single mothers are being targeted and forced onto the job seeker allowance because they are blamed as being cheats and scroungers. This divides the working class between employed, unemployed and unpaid workers and diverts attention away from the real problem – corporate profiteering.  More people are waking up to who are the real welfare cheats, the big corporations that get bailed out by the ordinary taxpayer while their living standards drop further. So to deflect attention from the real villains the NACTs are demonising solo mothers blaming them for being a burden on society so that low paid working families see them as the cause of their economic hardship rather than the corporates.

The cause of the NACTs driving beneficiaries onto workfare is the capitalist system itself. It exploits workers and impoverishes families creating the need for welfare. Then it demonises and blames those on welfare forcing them onto workfare. We need to end this system directing our fightback against the real cause, the capitalist class itself, by uniting and mobilising all workers, employed, unemployed, and those fully employed doing unpaid domestic work raising families.  We are all workers and we must unite behind those who are most oppressed and the target of the NACTs workfare attacks - single mothers! An injury to a single mother is an injury to all workers!  Waitemata branch of Unite is committed to organising all low paid, unemployed and beneficiaries as all valuable members of the working class. We are all exploited and oppressed by capitalism which divides and rules us. Enough! We are all part of the 99% against the 1%! We demand:

A living wage and a living benefit!
·         Unite the employed and unemployed!
·         Make the capitalists pay for their crisis!
·         Down with the NACT government’s workfare!
·         Rebuild the unions as organs of workers power!
·         For an end to capitalist system!
·         For a Socialist Aotearoa in a Socialist Pacific!               0272800080                      

Paula's Hypcritical Budget Advice

Government Bill Attacks Youth, Single Parents, Widows, Women Alone.

Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill 10-1 (2012), Government Bill

Attacks on Youth, including Young Parents =" Income Management".
Only a tiny amount of cash, WINZ pays rent etc directly; and food costs are available in a card only, which will only be able to be spent at very limited shops (perhaps only one). So much for bargain hunting or budgetting!
Then perks of ten dollars extra or so per week if you behave and do approved study.

From the Bill:

"Eligibility, payment and rates

This Bill introduces two new payments for young people that will replace most benefits currently accessed by 16-18 year olds:

  • a Youth Payment for 16-17 year-olds with no dependent children who have exceptional circumstances:

  • a Young Parent Payment for 16-18 year-old parents (and, if aged 16-17 years, have exceptional circumstances or come from a low income family).

The new payments will be based on the level of financial assistance available at 1 April 2012 and will be distributed through redirections (for accommodation and utility costs), a payment card (for food and groceries) and an in-hand allowance. An abatement-free income level will be set at $206.73 per week. "

First Youth, then the rest of us! Say No to "Income Management" Now!!

Attacks Upon Single Parents, Babies and Children, Widows, and Women alone .

From the Bill:

Rules if you have one child:

  • require sole parents receiving the domestic purposes benefit and partners of other main benefit recipients to be available for part-time work when their youngest child is five years of age:

  • require sole parents receiving the domestic purposes benefit and partners of other main benefit recipients to be available for full-time work when their youngest child is aged 14 or older:

  • Rules for Women Alone and Widows
  • extend these work availability expectations to women receiving the widows’ benefit and the domestic purposes benefit for women alone:

  • extend the ability to require pre-benefit activities before grant of a domestic purposes benefit for sole parents or women alone or widow's benefit.

Rules if you have a Second Child

"Where a parent has additional children while receiving a benefit, their work availability expectations will be based on the age of their previous youngest child, once their newborn turns one year of age. "

This Means:

If you have a one year old baby and your previous child is over five, you have to do part time work.

If you have a one year old baby and your previous child is over fourteen-you have to do full time work!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We Support the Wharfies; Save our Port!

Waitemata Unite, Unite union members, and thousands of others were out in force supporting the wharfies' right to guaranteed work and time with their families. No contracting out! No privatisation! Sack Tony Gibson, CEO of Ports of Auckland!

Don't Bash Mothers and Babies, International Women's Day Protest

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Don't Bash Mothers and Babies, International Women's Day.

A lively group of mothers ,babies, grandmothers, beneficiaries, older women, feminists, students, pensioners, activists, socialists, Occupiers, and members of Waitemata Unite protested John Key's intention to force mothers of babies as young as one into full time work at the motorway overbridge at Western Springs, on International Women's Day.

Smash the Welfare Nazis

posted in Waitemata Unite.


3:13pm Mar 6


The NACTs attacks on beneficiaries are no surprise to us. In its first-term National already implemented reforms that made life hell for many for beneficiaries (for example forcing sex abuse victims to forego paid counselling).

Now Paula Rebstock's razor gang draws on earlier attempts by National to attack beneficiaries – Ruth Richardson's benefit cuts of 1991, Jenny Shipley's workfare attack of 97/98 which also targeted solo mums but was driven back by mass outrage. The whole point has been and remains to cut taxes on profits and at the same time blame the poor for causing profits to fall by bludging on the state.

Today the global capitalist system is facing a major crisis of falling profits. Its banks and big corporations can survive only by massive tax grabs from workers by bosses. So the growing wealth gap is not a cause of the crisis but its effect. The reason for this is that the obscene wealth of the 1% is due not to rising profits in industry, except in 'third world' countries where the Multi-National Corporations suck surplus value out of labour, but to speculative fictional profits and policies that cut corporate taxes and force working class taxpayers to fund the bailouts of banks and countries 'too big to fail'.

But this is not enough for capitalism's survival. To solve their crisis of falling profits the bosses must drive down workers' living standards further by smashing those remaining unions that stand in the road of the complete casualisation of labour (wharfies, meatworkers, aged care workers) and by removing welfare rights and forcing beneficiaries into the floating reserve army of unemployed – workfare -penalised to compete for jobs and driving down wages.

This working class is today beginning to fight back. So to undermine this resistance the bosses try to isolate and target sections of the working class to blame for the crisis. Militant unions have always been targets - wharfies, meatworkers, teachers, etc. So have welfare beneficiaries, in particular, Maori and Pacifica solo mums and state housing tenants who comprise the so-called 'underclass'. So instead of the capitalist system that creates inequality, these workers, who are the victims of inequality, are blamed.

By targeting and demonising Maori (as radicals), migrants (as terrorists), youth (as anarchists), and women (as biologically dependent) the NACTs show that as the crisis gets more severe they impose more and more repressive attacks on us. The logic of this repression is fascism as the demonised target groups are denied basic human rights.

The only way to fight back is to unite all these elements of the working class, employed and unemployed including the 'underclass' unionists, students, youth and women, as well as those in the middle class (self-employed, contractors etc) that are also coming under attack, against the capitalist system that exploits and oppresses them. Waitemata Unite is dedicated to that task as a union for low paid, unemployed and beneficiaries.

But as well as mobilising the unions, the rise of the Occupy Movement which includes many workers and middle class who are not unionised, has created a new form of united front in which all those coming under attack can unite as the 99% against the extreme concentration of power and wealth in the 1%.

Smash the NACT demonisation of the poor working class.
Unite the working class to make the bosses pay for their own crisis.
Build democratic, fighting unions!
Build the occupy movement globally!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Press Statement from Waitemata Unite on the Government’s Welfare Reforms On International Women’s Day, 8th March 2012.

Press Statement from Waitemata Unite
on the Government’s Welfare Reforms
On International Women’s Day, 8th March 2012.
International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years to honour the contributions made to society by women .
To mark International Women’s Day 2012, the Waitemata Branch of the Unite! Union is calling all women’s work, both paid and unpaid, to be valued, appreciated and supported.
“We stand for the right of everyone to a living income, to spend time with our families and to participate in society.” said Janet Robin, President of the Branch.
Ms Robin said that although the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1972, women are still earning far less than men.
Women and children also make up the majority of those living in extreme poverty- about quarter to a third of all families.
‘These families are often subsisting on benefits that do not meet basic needs such as food, housing, and health. “We call for a living income for all workers and beneficiaries” said Ms Robin.
“Neither the National or the Labour governments have done anything to alleviate poverty in this country ” she said. “ In real terms, Benefit levels are at about half what they were, prior to the National Government’s 1991 Benefit cuts.”
“Labour and National have steadily eroded them ever since; with Labour abolishing the Special Benefit, and National abolishing the Training Incentive Allowance” she said. “This has prevented families getting the financial help they need, or being able to develop skills to find employment.”
Ms Robin said that it was important to recognise that mothering is work. “Caring for babies happens 24 hours a day, especially if the baby is breastfeeding” she said.
“Babies wake up throughout the night, and need attending to around the clock” she said.
“The early years of a child’s life are crucial for setting the blue print for healthy well adjusted adults” she said.
“Babies need to bond with their mothers” she said.
The Unite Waitemata Branch believes that the Government’s welfare reforms will cause harm to mothers and their babies.
“The government talks openly about using a “carrot” and “stick” approach to welfare”, she said.
“Few people realise that the Government expects single mothers of one year old babies, to be available for full time paid work, if they already have a child over fourteen” she said.
“Using a “stick “to hit babies is a pernicious and unethical form of social engineering, which will not work”
“Mothering is work and should be valued and supported by society”.
“Mothers are raising the future workers and tax payers who will support an increasingly elderly population.”
“Children are our taonga.|”
“ National's policies are short sighted and cruel. Keeping children in poverty and denying them their bonding with their mothers breaches the United Nations Rights of the Child .”
“Also, National's approach will not work when there are no jobs. When there are jobs, beneficiaries take them, if they fit their families' and health needs.”
National, on the other hand, has slashed jobs, slashed spending on childcare, and made tertiary education unaffordable.
”The corporate and the banks want to make us pay for their crisis”, which is why the National Government is trying to cut jobs, wages and benefits, and to privatise state assets.”
“They even want to privatise welfare so that the rich can make more profits out of the poor.”
“We don’t accept this.”
“It’s not our crisis. We didn’t create it, and we won’t pay for it.”
Waitemata Unite is holding a protest against the welfare cuts and the work testing of single parents, at 4pm, Thursday 8th March, on the motorway overbridge , corner of St Lukes Rd and Great North Rd, Auckland.
Janet Robin
Waitemata Branch of Unite Union
c/- 0272800080

· Source:
Sole Parent Support
This includes all those on the DPB and Widow’s Benefits with children under 14.Those receiving Sole Parent Support will be expected to look for part-time work when
their child is five years old and full-time when their child reaches the age of 14.
Those who have an additional child while on benefit will be exempted from work
expectations for 12 months, in line with parental leave provisions. Work obligations will
then revert to the age of the youngest child when the parent went on benefit.
For example, a beneficiary with a seven year old, who has another child, will return to a
part-time work expectation when their newborn turns one. A sole parent of a fourteen
year old who has another child will return to a full-time work expectation after one year.


· Waitemata Branch of Unite Union