i was one of the people at the "fairness at work" rally in hamilton today. it was incredibly well-attended & the first time i've seen people from so many different unions get together in such numbers. there's a lot of anger in the community about the erosion of worker's rights, and people are ready to fight back.
the thing that was interesting was that it was such a mixed group. there were the PSA workers & univerity staff, the NZEI & other teachers unions, service & food workers, rail & maritime, NDU, dairy workers, and more. one of the more rousing speakers represented workers in the justice sector. the people attending were not only diverse in the range of jobs but also by ethnicity. this was a real cross-section of nz society, and i saw john key brush them off in the news tonight, but i'm sure even he knows that he does so at his peril.
in the meantime, the news coverage around work issues continues to be appalling. i see all the DHB bosses tried a bit of media pressure today, bringing out stories of patients at risk because of striking radiographers. of course, they failed to mention that those patients wouldn't be at risk if employers were move from their position, and make as much effort to resolve the situation as they are on PR stunts.
ditto with the coverage of the teacher's strike. the reporting very rarely puts forward the view that children are missing out on school because the ministry is refusing to negotiate in good faith (ie they don't select interviewees who would put forward that view).
i've see reports today of the situation in france, where after major strikes that are disrupting normal activity, the vast majority of people are still supporting the unions. i'm sure that unions here also have support, the numbers who turned up around the country today show that they do.