Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Making people seek work makes them more sick." On Radio Waatea

Members of Unite  Waitemata spoke to Radio Waatea about the protest against Paula Bennet last week.
Go to this link to hear the full conversation between our member  David Bedggood  and  the radio station.

Radio Waatea wrote :
"Unite is trying to recruit more Māori into its campaigns against welfare changes.
The union for low paid workers last night picketed a speech given by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett in her electorate office in Henderson.
Spokesperson David Bedggood says Ms Bennett is the face of the Government’s welfare reforms which are targeting the most vulnerable in society.
He says the focus on making all beneficiaries including the sick and the invalid look for jobs that don’t exist is creating huge stress, especially for Māori, Pacific islanders and older workers.
"I ran into a Māori woman outside New Lynn. She’s got cataracts and problems with her hands and yet she’s being expected to train to go into a call centre and she’s about to retire. This is the sort of absurdity that these people are putting on people and I’m afraid Maori are badly affected and we need to make sure we get more of them involved in the struggle and join Unite Union," Mr Bedggood says.
He says Paula Bennett is promoting a philosophy that depending on a benefit is a form of sickness that can be cured by getting a job, whereas the pressure put on people to seek work is making them more sick."

Why You Need To Join Unite! Low Paid, Unemployed and Beneficiaries!

Why You Need To Join Unite!
Unite! is a Community Union.
Unite! is for low paid  and casual workers, and for those who are not 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. 

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.
The sick and disabled need support to belong in ways that suit them.
The unemployed need real jobs. Youth need a future.

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. Young people who had never been in a union before are now proud Unite members. Many of our members, such as those in the fast food industry, now have better wages and conditions protected by collective contracts. Low paid workers are learning that when we unite together and stand strong, we can win!

Join Unite! For living benefits, living wages and real jobs!
Issued by Waitemata Unite!     8369104    0272800080
See us on Facebook: Unite Waitemata

Waitemata Unite!  is a branch of  the Unite!  Union.
We fight for the rights of employed and beneficiaries!
·       Waitemata Unite!  will help you get the benefits, grants and allowances  you are entitled to. We will attend WINZ appointments with you, and help you with reviews and appeals.
·       If you are sanctioned, we will help you get your benefit back!
·       If you are on a “training scheme” and have to work for nothing, let us know!! We will picket employers using slave labour!
·       If you get a job, Unite! will make sure you get  your legal wage and conditions, and help you get better ones.
·       If your job ends, you can still be a member of Unite!
·       Lower benefits and slave labour by beneficiaries mean lower wages for workers ! Employed and unemployed need to Unite! for a living income for all ! Join Unite!
·       Fight for a living benefit and a living wage!  
·       The welfare and employment laws deny us our human rights!
·        Unite! now to defeat them!
·       Workers can go on strike! Beneficiaries can go on pickets.  We need to support each other. Together we are strong.

We meet every 3rd Saturday of the month at 10.45 am at the Avondale Community Centre, Rosebank Rd, and have regular pickets and forums. Come along, have a cuppa, get involved!
Unemployed and Employed     Join Waitemata Unite today!

Unity is Strength!
Welfare Rights are Under Attack!
Unite! to Fight Back!
The Government’s new benefit categories, Job Seeker Allowance, Parent Support Allowance, and Supported Living Allowance, mean that nearly all us have to look for work; even if we are sick, or caring for children.

 The government has abolished the Sickness Benefit.  The sick are now “Job Seekers.”  Only people with exemptions, or those who get the Supported Living Payment, don’t have to work. But WINZ designated doctors make it almost impossible to get this benefit.

 Most single parents, carers and even grandparents have to be available for full or part time work, including some mothers with babies as young as one year old! Parenting and caring is vitally important work! We need support, not harrassment!  

WINZ’s punitive sanctions are causing misery, hunger, and destitution for thousands of beneficiaries and their children! If we refuse a job, are late for an appointment, don’t take our child to childcare or the doctor’s, or fail a drug test, we can lose half or all of our benefit.  
 WINZ pays private contractors a fortune whilst increasing our poverty!
WINZ makes us attend pointless Job Seeking courses run by contractors.
Their “training” includes doing slave labour for private businesses!
WINZ pays employers $5000 per year to employ us at poverty wages! Some employers have broken labour laws, and made workers work long hours for low or no pay!
WINZ will pay thousands to contractors to put the mentally ill into work

Young people only get pocket money and a card for basic necessities. Their lives are controlled by private contractors. Some young mothers are forced to do full time “training” and put tiny babies into full time daycare.

Older women and widows are also being forced onto the already crowded labour market competing for scarce jobs.

Unite!  for Social Welfare!
The welfare state was was created so that everybody would have good education, healthcare, housing, real jobs and a living income.
Benefits are meant to support people who are raising children, caring for people, are sick or cannot find work.

Unite! for Real Jobs!
The world economic system is in crisis. Profits are falling.
Millions are out of work. In NZ, 6.7% and 30% of youth are unemployed.
But our government is not creating jobs!  It is cutting our welfare!
Unions have always been a major way that we protect our rights!
The Government wants to make it harder for workers to join unions to organise for living wages, benefits, and conditions.
Fight Back! Join your union!

Stop Corporate Welfare!
The government wants us all to compete for non existent jobs so that employers can pay lower wages, and get higher profits.
It  slanders us, because it wants people to think that the crisis is our fault , when really it is the fault of the banks and the corporates, the 1%.
National plans to save more than a billion dollars by cutting our welfare.
Many of us are giving up altogether rather than face endless sanctions!

No forced work for mothers, the sick and disabled!
No “income management” for youth!
No forced “training”!  No sanctions! No work for the dole!

Beneficiaries and workers need Unite!
 Unite! can fight these attacks!

No to New Child Protection Laws

Media Release from Unite Waitemata 

No to New Child Protection Laws

The Waitemata Branch of the Unite Union says that National’s proposed new child protection laws will not protect children, and will simply do further harm to families, already devastated by  welfare reforms.

“Surveillance and harsh punishments is not the answer to family violence" said Janet Robin,  President of the branch.
“Raising incomes and genuine support and respect for struggling families is.”

Research such as that recently published by the Child Poverty Action group show that while most beneficiaries are very good parents, the stresses of poverty can contribute to family violence.

Ms Robin said government’s welfare reforms are themselves violence towards vulnerable children and contravene the United Nations Rights of the Child for necessities of life.  “Halving a family’s income simply because the parent fails to get to an appointment on time  is violence towards the whole family”, she sad. “ No child can be fed, housed , clothed, educated, and nurtured on half a benefit.”

Even more concerning is that the proposed laws contravene fundamental principles of law and justice.

“Not being allowed to see a child you love for ten years, and not being allowed to  be near any children at all, simply for being in a room where some  violence may have occurred, is absolutely outrageous! “she said.

The Government also wants to be able to instantly sack any government employee on the mere suspicion that he or she might have abused children.  This is a blatant attack on worker’s rights!” said Ms Robin.

“The government is treating the poor like an inferior underclass in a manner which smacks of racism” she said.

“Strengthening the guardianship rights of foster parents at the expense of those of the child’s own parents is nothing short of theft of the children of the poor”, she said.

“Foster parents are severely underfunded in any case, as are foster homes, and  there is evidence that many foster homes  and parents are not coping” she said.

“Workers and beneficiaries need to Unite against these attacks on our families which are only aimed at dividing us”, she said.

 “ Instead  of just focussing on abuse of children, the government needs to focus on violence in the family as a whole, particularly  violence towards women,” she said. "Violence towards women and children goes  hand in hand."

 “The government needs to fully fund agencies which support women and children suffering from violence and abuse including women’s refuges, rape crisis centres and counselling services.”

“Instead these agencies teeter on the brink of extinction for lack of funds, and we see ACC and WINZ expressing a preference to not fund counselling at at all any more, or to limit the amount available.”
"Even funding for separating families has been cut."

“Rather than sacking employees on the basis of rumour, the government should make sure that complaints are fairly investigated and that  current procedures are properly followed.  “ said Ms Robin.
For further information contact 0272800080 , or 8369104, and ask for for the  contact details of the President, or email