Wellington Scoop

Union volunteers door-knocking in campaign for workers’ rights

News from Unions Wellington
Trade union activists will go from house to house asking Wellingtonians to pledge their vote in the general election to parties and candidates who support workers’ rights.

Unions Wellington launches its election campaign at 6pm tonight, from the sixth floor of the Public Service Association’s headquarters on 11 Aurora Terrace.

The cross-union campaigning group says it will work with scores of volunteers to coordinate activities throughout the region.

“We ran a successful campaign during the local body elections, engaging with commuters at the railway station and people all over our city about the need to vote in support of pro-worker policies like the Living Wage and affordable public transport,” says Ben Peterson, co-convenor of Unions Wellington.

“We now intend to step that up. We will talk to thousands of potential voters and ask them to pledge their support for policies that strengthen our rights at work and protect our livelihoods. Candidates and parties running in the Wellington region should commit their support to these same principles.”

Unions Wellington is part of the wider NZ Council of Trade Unions, and its volunteer activists will work in cooperation with other progressive campaigns from groups like the Living Wage Movement.

The issues-based campaign is not affiliated to any political party and will not endorse specific candidates.

“During a general election, most of us pay more attention to politics than in regular times. It’s not just a chance to vote then move on, it’s an opportunity to have important conversations about what our society should look like,” says Alastair Reith, co-convenor of Unions Wellington.

“With recession threatening many jobs and a global pandemic raging beyond our shores, it’s the right time to talk about stronger redundancy protections and more guaranteed sick days. We need a government that supports the right of working people to collectively organise and bargain to improve our lives.”

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