The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Labour Weekend comes but once a year

The excellent unofficial Finsec blog, the gossip, has a good post up on the public holiday we are all entitled to on Monday - Labour Day.

I've been particularly hanging out for this Labour Day. Due to the massive amount of paid and unpaid leave taken earlier this year to sratch my travel itch, I have no annual leave until Xmas. Monday will be the first public holiday since I got back - my, it's a long time from Queens Birthday to now.

It's important though to recognise Monday for the history it has, for the struggle that it represents. That struggle sadly continues today - at the moment it feels like everytime I listen to the radio there is news of another stack of redundancies coming before Xmas. How many of us work an 8 hour day now? Or are paid for the true hours we work? And what about all those whose work is not paid at all, but remains invisible despite its huge value to us all?

I could go on ad nauseum about all the employment and worker issues that still challenge us today, but Labour Day is also a time to remember: united we stand, divided we fall. Without the collectivity of unions we wouldn't even have a holiday on Monday.

9 comments:

stef said...

I just had a 6 day weekend last week which was nice as that's my last vacation till after christmas.

Enjoy your day off.

Span said...

My word your 6 day weekend beats my four by a considerable margin. But I'm still going to wallow in the wonderfulness of a day off tomorrow. It'll be the first time off I've had that hasn't been earnt by considerable overtime or illness, since the very beginning of January. Oh except for that three month period late March - late June ;-)

Bring on 7.30am tomorrow, when I can be asleep instead of at work!

Finsec said...

As well as eight hour days slowly beng replaced by unpaid overtime, the other big issue around working hours is people who struggle to find a job that is actually eight hours a day. (And so need to work two or more jobs to get enough hours to make enough money to make ends meet for their family.) The CTU has just released a good short report on low wages in NZ.

Span said...

I think there is a gap of perception about the nature of a lot of the work that people do. So many people now work outside of 9-5 M-F, and yet our world seems to still act as if that was the norm.

For those who do manage to maintain the 9-5 dream there sometimes seem to be a misunderstanding that the work that happens outside those hours is done by magical elves, eg call centre workers, cleaners, even the person making the popcorn at the movies. They can't all be university students surely?

Thanks for the link Finsec :-)

Heine said...

I hope I don't need to bring up the case where Finsec tried to deliberately lie their way into gaining influence into a certain Wellington based banking call centre in 02/03 will I?

Span said...

Is that supposed to be some kind of threat?

Given the fact that you have already displayed a remarkably high level of ignorance about union stuff, in relation to the Progressive Enterprises/NDU situation earlier this year, I'm not sure you have a lot of credibility on these issues Heine.

Heine said...

Now now Span it isn't any threat at all, don't jump to conclusions!

I was bang on about the NDU having to find a result soon before their long suffering members ran out of patience and believe me, Finsec and their attempts to get into my old workplace is very true. I was there!

That isn't ignorance, and if you don't open your mind a little then I won't be sending you a condolence card in 08 :)

I was saying you just shouldn't believe everything just because it comes from the left. Esp Finsec!

Span said...

I know we are never going to agree on many things Heine. Including pretty much everything in your most recent comment above.

The one thing I wouldn't disagree on is the possibility of Labour losing the next election, this far out it's impossible to say. No need to save your pennies for a condolence card however - I'm not in Labour.

Heine said...

Ahh, good call. My mistake for confusing you with the Labour Party.

I was working for a bank in 02/03 and FINSEC tried to get more influence withoin our ranks and would of actually of suceeded if it wasn't for the fact that they email bombarded us all (and was reported for bullying and harrassment by some), for claiming they had negotiated benefits for us (when they did not exist at all) and were promising the moon and the stars if we joined. Unfortunately for them, they had to leave us alone and the few remaining members within the work place tendered their resignations from the Union out of disgust from Finsecs actions. Fact.

However we might disagree on unions, I would think we agreed on more than you let on :)