Talking Union.

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An incoming event here that should be of interest to those at a loss about how to score victories against the bosses in fragmented and precarious work places.

Joe Carolan, him of Globalise Resistance fame a million years ago – and other members of the Unite union from NZ are in town and doing a talk.

When we talked to Joe sometime last year he had this to say about how employers use zero hours as a tactic:

“Zero Hours contracts are primarily about power. If you don’t suck up to the manager, they’ll cut your hours. If you don’t take that late night Saturday shift at three hours notice, they’ll cut your hours. Join the union, make a complaint? Wait three months, then cut your hours. During the hard fought MCStrike campaign two years ago, we were hassled by the cops on the picket lines, the delegates all got bullshit disciplinaries, then their hours were cut.

Workers were telling organisers – look, a pay rise and better conditions are great, but the fundamental problem is the power they have over us- they use the roster as a disciplinary weapon. Break that weakest link, and you fundamentally change power in the workplace. Hence a highly focused, single issue campaign this time. Pay, conditions and density will follow after this victory.”

Here’s the plan for the talk:

“In March this year, fast food workers in New Zealand (NZ) won a very significant victory. Through union organising, fast food strikes and a vibrant political campaign, zero hours contracts have been outlawed in NZ from April this year.

Unite Union NZ National Director, Mike Treen and Senior Organiser Joe Carolan will be telling us how they did it. This event is open to all trade union activists and supporters. Not to be missed!”

Full details are available over at Facebook. Read our interview about the whole thing here.

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