[Marxism] A workers' victory in New Zealand

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 13:56:17 MDT 2015


Last year the government passed legislation allowing employers to erode
workers' breaks by making them no longer mandatory every few hours.

The first company to try to use this was the big retail chain Cotton On,
with its distribution centre workers in Auckland.

The attempt failed due to a combination of workers' resistance, a huge
amount of coverage in both mainstream and social media, and a public
outcry.  The Auckland workers also got solidarity from Cotton On
distribution centre workers in Brisbane.

The firm signed its first-ever contract with FIRST Union yesterday.  The
contract provides some substantial pay increases and leaves out the taking
away of meal and rest breaks.

It was an interesting test case of strength, made more so by the fact that
we had just re-blogged a very good article by Joe Allen in Jacobin about
logistics workers.

The story of the Cotton On victory is here:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/workers-at-cotton-on-win-pay-and-teabreak-victory/

And the piece on the importance of logistics workers (those involved in the
circulation of capital in the form of commodities) is here:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-importance-of-circulation-workers-in-21st-century-capitalism/

Phil



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