Alliance refuses to take no for an answer in Wellington Union debate

Latest Press release. This time the CTU have redused to allow me to speak at their forum for political parties to convey their policies relating to workers and worker’s rights. How ridiculous!

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday 30
September 2008

The Alliance Party is demanding the right to speak at a Wellington
Union forum.

The Council of Trade Unions is holding a workers election forum on
Thursday 9 October 2008, 12 – 2 pm at the Main Hall, St John’s in the
City, corner Willis and Dixon Street, Wellington. But the Alliance has
been turned away.

Alliance Party Wellington Central candidate Richard Wallis is fuming
that he has been turned down in favour of anti-worker candidates from
ACT and the National Party.

“As a working secondary teacher and an active unionist with the PPTA,
I am outraged that I am being stopped from addressing fellow unionists
who will instead hear from anti-union, anti-worker parties like ACT,
National and United.”

“The Maori Party have said they will cut a deal with National, and
they get an invite. But not the Alliance.”

“The Alliance will fight National tooth and claw. We would offer
critical support to a Labour Government if re-elected to Parliament,
while rejecting Labour policies such as free trade, student debt and
tax cuts for the rich.”

Mr Wallis says if it wasn’t for the Alliance, Kiwibank and Paid
Parental Leave would never have been introduced.

“The argument that only parties in Parliament should have speaking
time is garbage. There are a lot of parties in Parliament that are
anti-union. Why is the CTU promoting them? They should be helping the
Alliance get back into Parliament.”

Mr Wallis says he will attend the debate regardless and would accept a
last minute invitation to speak.

“The Alliance is 100% pro-union and all we want is the opportunity to
speak to workers.”

Alliance Party Dunedin North candidate Victor Billot says he has been
invited to attend a CTU forum in Dunedin and can’t understand why this
is a problem in Wellington.

“As a member of the Maritime Union, I resent that ACT and the National
Party are promoting their policies at a Union forum and the Alliance
has been excluded. Alliance candidates have been supporting workers
and unions for years, as union members and on picket lines during
disputes.”

The goal of the Alliance workers rights policy is secure, well-paid
jobs. The Alliance will help workers in low-paid and insecure jobs,
reduce the working week and increase the minimum wage.

•The Alliance will increase the minimum wage to $17 per hour.
• We will introduce a 35-hour working week with no loss of pay.
• We will immediately introduce five weeks’ annual leave.
• We will introduce greater protections for casual workers.
• We will ensure responsible contracting – where private business gets
public money to deliver services, they will be required to meet
national standards in pay and conditions.
• We will improve paid parental leave – workers who become primary
caregivers should get 12 months’ paid parental leave and their
partners should get two weeks’ paid parental leave.
• We support the right to strike: workers should have the right to
strike to enforce their Collective Agreement, to oppose layoffs, to
support other workers and for political reasons.
• Workers should have a say in the way work is organised. We will push
for stronger employment legislation to ensure greater workplace
democracy
.
• We will ensure genuine full employment promoted by public-financed
regional economic development and public works’ programmes.

ENDS

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