Happy Labour Day, folks!
For many of us, today is a day of reflection, of profound appreciation for the activists and struggles that have come before us in the long and colourful history of the New Zealand labour movement.
The activists and the political arm of this movement have always had a unique and certainly tumultuous relationship over the years, but in better times have brought us: weekends; minimum wages; public holidays; annual, sick, and bereavement leave; 40-hour work-weeks; time-and-a-half and overtime wages; the right to organise; collective agreements; workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment laws; and of course this very Labour Day that so many New Zealanders are fortunate enough to be able to spend with family and friends.
Of course the story doesn’t end there. Let’s not forget that we still have publicly-owned corporations blatantly flouting employment law and plunging livelihoods into uncertainty. We have a government apparently dedicated to unravelling the protections and rights that our union comrades have fought for in decades past. We have hard-working employees dying on the job in some of our most important industries.
And we still have a Living Wage to win.
Just remember this Labour Day: the fight is still there to be won.