Rembrandt Suits picket in Wellington

December 7, 2008

Workers from Rembrandt Suits held a picket on Saturday 6th December outside the Kirkaldie & Stains department store in central Wellington after receiving a pitiful offer from Rembrandt bosses.

The workers, skilled and experienced machinists (one of whom has worked for the company for 20 years) are currently on the minimum wage and are asking for $13.50 / hour. They have been offered only a 24 cent increase, which would take them to $12.24. Most of the workers require Government subsidies just to survive.

Recently, almost half the workforce at Rembrandt were made redundant (some “voluntary”, some not), meaning those workers left will be required to absorb much of the work once done by those colleagues.

The workers are unionised by the National Distribution Union (NDU), who are asking supporters to contact Rembrandt Managing Director David Lyford to tell him to stop being such a miser. You can reach him at (04) 567 4820 or on lyfordD (at) rembrandt.org.nz

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here.

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New Anarchist-Communist Organisation Launched in Aotearoa / New Zealand

December 6, 2008

A new organisation has been formed with the aim of building a revolutionary anarchist communist movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand. For now, we are a small organisation with members in Wellington, Christchurch and a few smaller towns across the country.

AWSM came together when a few anarchists saw the need for a coherent and organised group of anarchist communists, inspired by the “platformist” strand of anarchist thought. Informal chats over the last few years turned into serious planning a few months ago and a little conference at Labour weekend (late October) in Wellington.

As class struggle anarchists our priority is active involvement in workplace struggles and industrial action as well as community based campaigns in our neighbourhoods.

We aim to publish a monthly newspaper starting in 2009, and a less frequent but more in-depth theoretical magazine as well. If you think this is your kind of group and you agree with our aims and principles then please get in touch with us.

Visit us at http://www.awsm.org.nz

Aims & Principles

1: The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand.

2: Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class. But inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of race, gender, sexuality, health, ability, age etc, and in these ways one section of the working class oppresses another. This divides us, causing a lack of class unity in struggle that benefits the ruling class. Oppressed groups are strengthened by autonomous action which challenges social and economic power relationships. To achieve our goal we must relinquish power over each other on a personal as well as a political level.

3: We believe that fighting all forms of oppression and exploitation is necessary. Anarchist-Communism cannot be achieved while sexism and racism still exist. In order to be effective in their struggle against their oppression both within society and within the working class, oppressed groups may at times need to organise independently. However, this should be as working class people only, as cross-class movements hide real class differences and achieve little for those in the oppressed groups. Full emancipation cannot be achieved without the abolition of capitalism.

4: We support Tino Rangatiratanga and stand in solidarity with grassroots indigenous struggle and direct action, while not supporting Maori capitalism and corporatisation (we acknowledge the lack of anarchist theory on the indigenous struggle in Aotearoa / New Zealand and are in the process of researching, debating and discussing a more detailed position on this point).

5: While trade unions can never be revolutionary, we recognise that the majority of collective workplace struggle today occurs within unions and therefore our members should join unions where they exist in their workplace, while being wary of any attempts by union bureauracrats to stifle rank and file struggle. Where unions do not exist we encourage our members to engage with their fellow workers to initiate collective action.

6: We recognise that the general strike is one of the working class’ most powerful weapons and oppose all restrictions on worker’s rights to take collective action, including strikes.

7: As well as exploiting and oppressing the majority of people worldwide, Capitalism threatens the planet through war and the destruction of the environment.

8: It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve anarchist communism. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation.

9: We acknowledge that by implementing the organisation section of the The Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists – theoretical unity, tactical unity, collective responsibility and federalism – we will be best able to move forward in promoting the aims and principles of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement.


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