Monday, 25 October 2010

labour day

for the last couple of nights, i've been meaning to do a labour day post, but just haven't found the energy - and was distracted by other things. today, i spent part of the day at work. i know, it was such beautiful weather & i should have been outside, but with the change of GST rate on 1 october, all september GST returns are taking longer to get through. it's annoying work, and all our clients are going to be paying extra to get their returns done properly. i wonder where that cost goes, when they do all the calculations claiming that the 1 october tax changes are revenue neutral.

still, back to labour day & the celebration of workplace rights. except there never is one. every other stat day seems to have a significance that is widely recognised in popular culture and through events or celebrations. except queen's birthday weekend, and being anti all monarchies in whatever shape or form, i'm not in a hurry to do anything but ignore the significance of queen's birthday. in fact, i'd much rather we swapped the holiday for matariki & started actually recognising that celebration in a more formal way.

but labour day does need much more recognition than it gets. may day in the northern hemisphere seems to get a lot of activity, but somehow nz'ers seem happy to be ignorant of the hard-won rights that generations gone by have fought for. being ignorant of those things means that there is so much less resistance as those rights are eroded.

it's been a good and bad week for unions, what with the very successful rallies on wednesday, then the sh*tstorm that has been the hobbit dispute. or lack of dispute really, since the matter was formally settled before the latest foray into the media by peter jackson. i've really lost respect for this man, and am certain i won't be paying any money to see the film. as others have said elsewhere, i'll just wait for the free-to-air screening on tv.

regardless of the rights & wrongs of it all, there is no doubt that we need stronger & better funded unions in this country. it's the only way for workers to fight big money as the latter works to further erode rights in this country with the help of a compliant government.

if nothing else, this all just shows how important it is to have more than just a day off on labour day. we need a real commemoration and retelling of the history of the struggle for workplace rights.

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