Thursday 3 April 2008

Protest Against Free Trade Agreement in China

GLOBAL PEACE & JUSTICE AUCKLAND Media Release: 3 April 2008 Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Unite Union are jointly organising a protest against New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with China due to be signed by the Prime Minister on Monday. The protest will gather in Aotea Square, Auckland at 12 noon on Saturday – just two days before the deal is due to be signed. The FTA will be bad for New Zealand workers, bad for Chinese workers as well as bad for human rights and democracy in both countries. It will also be a slap in the face to the Tibetan people struggling for autonomy against oppressive Chinese rule. The proposed FTA has wide implications here. It will cause the further loss of quality jobs (particularly in the manufacturing sector) following the lost of hundreds of thousands of such jobs when tariffs were first slashed in the 1980s. It comes at a time of intense struggle by the people of Tibet against Chinese occupation. Chinese and multinational corporations are active in exploiting minerals in the region while the Tibetan people live under a brutal occupation. Meanwhile Chinese workers continue to work in slave-like conditions of long hours for pitiful pay while Chinese and international businesses make handsome profits. The only way this exploitation is possible is through violent, repressive state control of Chinese workers such as a ban on workers organising independent trade unions. The march will call for: “Free Tibet – not free trade” “Save jobs in New Zealand – Support workers rights in China” John Minto Spokesperson Ph (09) 8463173 (H) (09) 8469496 (W) Mike Treen National Director Unite Union Ph (09) 8452132 (W)

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