This press release from Mangere M.P. Su'a Sio deserves wider circulation than the local press will give it. His commentary is relevant especially for those whose real work provides the foundation for the economy.
Communities want job security and income protection.I have been critical of the government’s job summit as being a mere talkfest, that government wasn’t moving quick enough while the plight of our economy continues to grow, that Government was excluding ordinary communities from the summit, and that the very communities that will suffer the greatest from a depression would not have a voice in the summit. Then as I watched the television coverage of the event, I have to admit; the Government looked good. Admittedly, the television coverage of the event was carefully orchestrated and clinically scripted suggesting duplicitous behaviour for the sake of politics.
Nevertheless, the most innovative idea I picked up from the news coverage is the 9 day working fortnight with one day for education and this should be explored. The initial concerns by ordinary families on this idea will be who will pay workers for the days they give up? If no one pays us, how will we meet our daily living expenses if we are forced to give up what would normally be a paid working day? If our incomes are reduced by one day will our fixed daily expenses such as rent, power, water, sewage, and phone lines be reduced as well?
To add further concerns to troubled minds, the inability of the Government to come clean on what it intends to do with the Super Fund is cause for considerable distress amongst our senior citizens. Many Grey Power members remember well the Government that reduced superannuation to 60% of the average wage in the 1990s.
Then on Sunday the Government’s ‘fire at will 90 day’ law will come into force on the premise that it will boost employment opportunities with small to medium sized businesses. In reality however, National is telling employers they can hire people for up to three months and then get rid of them without any hassles. All this law will do is remove worker’s rights to take personal grievances for reasons of unjustified dismissal and will leave workers open to being taken advantage of, and abused by unscrupulous employers. This is another cause for more worry by ordinary communities.
Notwithstanding, the real test now is how Government will give confidence to its citizens that it will meet the needs of all families, especially vulnerable communities throughout New Zealand.
In Mangere, families aren’t just concerned about job security, we are also concerned about income protection, and how the needs of our families will be sustained now and into future years.