The Maritime Union says a just released OECD report on the New Zealand economy is a politically driven document with a right-wing, anti-working class agenda.
Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says some of the “market oriented reforms” proposed by the OECD report had been so discredited by the recent economic crisis and past history that it was a surprise anyone could suggest them with a straight face.
“How dare the authors of this report come out and preach policies that end in casualized jobs, long hours, shift work and low wages for New Zealand workers?”
Mr Hanson says it is obvious that New Zealand society is stressed with long hours, low wages and job insecurity creating major negative issues for working people including violence, drug abuse, crime and family breakdown.
“The real aim of these so-called experts is to teach workers to be constantly worried about job loss, comply with every request of their boss no matter how unreasonable, have husbands and wives working different shifts, and see wages constantly losing ground against the cost of living and shareholder profits. This is the reality of New Zealand today.”
He says this is a result of the deregulated, 24 hour/7 day society, where family life and community life are under constant attack from the “demands of the mighty dollar.”
Mr Hanson says the result of free market and free trade policies is the creation of a “working poor” in New Zealand and a group of people trapped in insecure casual work who were now being hit by rising unemployment.
He says that proposals to “bring back the privatization agenda from the dead” and sell off ports and rail were clearly aimed at benefiting global corporations rather than the New Zealand public.
“Through privatization policies of the past, assets were stripped, infrastructure run down, land and industry hocked off to passing speculators and profits drained overseas, while New Zealand accumulates debt and we become tenants in our own country.”
Mr Hanson says the push to dismantle New Zealand’s public health system was a sign that this is on the agenda for big business.
“Does the OECD want an American health system where tens of millions of workers can’t even afford to get health care and they want to see your credit rating when they come to pick you up in an ambulance?”
Mr Hanson says it is time New Zealand workers resisted attempts to turn them into full time production units to make profits for global corporations.
“We need to run society to ensure security and stability and a decent life for all people.”