Unions celebrate May Day during tough time for working people

On International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi and the wider union movement are celebrating the proud history of the labour movement during a tough time for working people.

“May Day is an opportunity to pause and remember the hard-won achievements of the labour movement, from the eight-hour day to weekends and the minimum workplace rights and conditions including health and safety,” said NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“It is a tough time right now for working people in Aotearoa New Zealand, with unemployment rising and government launching an all-out attack on their rights and conditions, from 90-day trials, to repealing Fair Pay Agreements, to widespread job cuts in the public service. It’s more important than ever that we take time to reflect on the power we have when we come together as working people to organise for a better future.

“As a movement, sometimes we face setbacks, other times we make great advances. But we keep moving forward and making progress for working people.

“On this May Day, let’s recommit to the idea that everyone deserves good work – work that is secure and pays well, provides lifelong opportunities, fosters health and wellbeing, enables people to have a voice in the workplace, and contributes to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

“If you want to be part of making history, join your union, get involved and let’s keep up the proud record of the labour movement,” said Wagstaff.

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