What was your favorite action?

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happychaos's picture
Joined: 14-04-06
Oct 31 2012 07:38
What was your favorite action?

What's the best action or campaign you've ever been involved in?

Earlier this year Auckland Wharfies were locked out following a sneaky attack by the council-owned Ports of Auckland to contract out their work. Near the end of the lockout, the MUNZ Local 13 members decided to hold a march from downtown Auckland, over a hill and down to their picket line, which they had been holding from day one. A group of locked out Affco meat workers from Horotiu (1 1/2 hours drive away) and Rangiuru (3 hours drive away) left their picketlines and carpooled to the march. During the demonstration, they got together at the top of the hill, just before the end of the march. As they walked down the hill they yelled "The Workers, United, will never be defeated! Meat Workers - Union hard! " at the top of their lungs. They kept going, all the way down to where the march ended, where people were waiting for speeches (by the Labour Party, not from locked out families, it turned out). The meaties marched and chanted past clapping and cheering supporters and wharfies. Many of these burly stevedores had tears rolling down their eyes. It was electric. Some weeks later, Local 13, one of the smallest union's in Aotearoa and still deeply involved in their own deeply bitter dispute, took the time out to support the meat workers on their picket line. When they returned to work, they kept up the support for the meat workers. With only 300 members, they still managed to organise weekly pay deductions of thousands of dollars to give to the meaties. This never happened, however, as the Affco lockout was lifted. Just a couple of weeks ago, during some training for the Horotiu meat workers, they found out the Wharfies were holding a picket at the gates. They dropped their pens and training materials, jumped in the cars, rounded up some more workers, and drove to the picket. That my friends, is the power of mutual aid and solidarity.

I find these sorts of stories help keen me warm when the heat goes temporarily out of the movement.


PS This is all the more special because they are two of the few remaining staunch unions left in Aotearoa and this sort of thing hasn't happen in many, many years.