TV3’s estimate of 400 in
People at the rally I spoke to were clearly pissed off about the attacks, but I didn’t get much sense of a fighting spirit. Attempts to get the crowd chanting were half-hearted and didn’t take off.
The highlight came early, when two marches arrived in the square. They did have their chants sorted out. The traditionally conservative Pubic Service Association calling for “Fairness at Work”, while the slightly smaller radical fringe of the Workers Party and Beyond Resistance, declaring their intention to fight back against the “Class War” waged by the bosses. [I will post videos of both, when I can get it working.] I hope the next protest, on October 20 is a march, not just a rally.
Even double these numbers would not cause the Nats any concern. And it now seems unlikely that the mobilisations will grow big enough, quickly enough to stop the law from passing. Unfortunately, it's at this point that far too many campaigns admit defeat and give up.
The one bright spark is that unions are now naming and shaming the employers who have used the existing 90-day law to sack workers. The CTU’s videos, Unite’s Utu Squads, and the stories of the workers that have been mistreated, could tip the balance of public opinion. And if the Utu protests catch on, they could encourage more workers to come forward, and warn employers off the scheme.
As part of building for the next national day of action on October 20, all unions should get behind the name and shame campaign. You can play your part by forwarding the CTU’s video, or the TV3 link below, and asking around to see if anyone you know has been unfairly treated under this law.