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Archive for 1 March 2012

1 March – No Rest for Striking Workers!

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Contrary to the Radio NZ report this morning, the numbers attending the striker’s picket in Upper Hutt would have numbered at least double what was reported.

Despite on-off heavy rain, between 75 – 100 people stood on the side of Fergusson Drive, putting their case for a liveable wage,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Only last year,  John Key promised New Zealanders that the “driving goal of my Government is to build a more competitive and internationally-focused economy with less debt, more jobs and higher incomes” and we took him at his word.

Ordinary, hard-working New Zealanders who want nothing more than a decent wage so they can put food on their tables, and provide the best possible home for their children,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Some of the striking workers stood on the opposite side of the road,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Judging by the constant tooting of horns from passing vehicles, the picketing workers had considerable public support. On occassion, the car-tooting was non-stop, making talking almost impossible.

A wage of $13.61 an hour is simply not a credible income to live on. Should the government be worried? I’d say, “yes – definitely”.

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Green MPs  Catherine Delahunty (L) and Denise Roche (R), addressing workers. They voiced their Party’s support for workers to be paid a reasonable, liveable wage,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Labour MP, Kris Faafoi, voicing Labour’s support for striking workers,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Service & Food Workers Union sector-secretary, Alastair Duncan, telling workers that they were dedicated to their profession and deserved to be adequately remunerated,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Despite the sporadic heavy rain, the picket numbers swelled as more people joined in,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Rimutaka Labour MP, Chris Hipkins, joining the picket in solidarity with workers,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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The signs said it all,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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A “Fair Deal” – what could be more reasonable than that?

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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An indication of the heavy rain that picketers put up with. It did not deter them, and more joined the protest-line to support workers,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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This sign, I believe, summed it up very well,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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TV1 news camera covered the workers’ protest,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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More media,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea.

Interviewing one of the striking workers,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Interviewing another striking worker,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Striking for a better wage, to to put on the table for  families, and to ensure that their children get the best possible start in life,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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The Mana Party showed it’s  presence and support,

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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Green MP, Denise Roche (L) and Green activist, Conor (R),

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1 march 2012 - striking rest home workers - SFWU - Nurses Organisation - Upper Hutt - Elderslea

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The overall feeling of the workers was upbeat and positive. Public support was noisy, with constant car-horn tooting.  The message to employers and to the National government was crystal clear: ” pay us a decent, liveable wage“!

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Media reporting

  • TV1 News: yes
  • TV3 News: tba
  • Radio NZ: yes
  • Dominion Post: yes

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Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

  1. Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
  2. Where purpose of  use is  commercial, a donation to Russell School Breakfast Club is requested.
  3. For non-commercial use, images may be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
  4. Acknowledgement of source is requested.

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Additional

Service & Food Workers Union

NZ Nurses Organisation

Labour Party

Green Party

Mana Party

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