May 1st Action Calls for Just Recovery, Just Transition for Workers


The 1st of May is the International Day of the Worker, with its origins in the struggle to win workers the 8-hour day in the USA in 1886.

Few know that New Zealand workers already claimed this right over forty years earlier, thanks to carpenter Samuel Parnell who fought for it. This May Day, unions and community groups are calling on Aotearoa to show the world that workers matter and deserve more, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.

The Day of Action is designed to fit with physical distancing regulations and is open to everyone to participate by showing solidarity through chalked messages and postering in their community to be shared online.

There are a lot of campaigns fighting for better pay and conditions by different groups of workers and their unions, especially in light of this growing Covid-19 economic crisis. This pandemic is providing a catalyst for urgent change, as workers, unions, social justice groups and environmentalists join forces to campaign for better work conditions and a just transition away from fossil fuels.

“Climate Justice Taranaki fully supports the action this Friday and encourages everyone in Taranaki to get out and convey messages of support for essential service workers, and others impacted by Covid-19, inequality and climate change. Chalk your thoughts down on the footpath outside your home or in public spaces so everyone can see your support and the kind of future you want.” says CJT spokesperson Elin Arbez.

“If we are to recover from the economic and climate crises, we need everyone to be working together on creating solutions as soon as possible. We cannot afford to ‘return to normal’ as the old normal is what created the problems. A new normal would be a just and kind society for the planet where everybody thrives.”

Climate Justice Taranaki demands:

more state funding and better systems to support and protect all paid and unpaid workers, especially essential service providers, for the long term,
a Universal Basic Income with tax reforms to ensure the rich contribute their fair share to public good and ensure financial stability for all,
more funding to support relocalising of our economy to build community resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
more funding for healthy, sustainable state housing alongside capital gains and asset taxes, mortgage rate and rent price controls, and stronger tenant protection, and
that the NZ Reserve Bank finances all Covid-19 recovery needs, not borrowing from commercial banks, and the introduction of sovereign money to set us free from a debt-based banking system.

More information:

Other campaigns (not an exhaustive list)

#ProtectHomeCareWorkers global day of action for home care workers initiated by E tū members

#ShowSomeHeart First Union campaign for supermarket workers 10% pay bonus to continue throughout all alert levels, and beyond

Essential Workers Deserve a Living Wage!

#RentStrike Resist evictions, housing for all! Sign the pledge to strike or support a strike if demands aren’t met: Find out here:

Covid-19 Health Worker Demands #EssentiallyValued

#JustRecovery Climate change, worker rights and Covid-19

Prisoner safety and rights during the pandemic:

Follow Arms Down NZ: End armed police patrols NOW on facebook #ArmsDownNZ to resist and stop armed police patrols of working communities.


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