Denigrating worker rights in the week of Labour Day



Am I the only one who finds it super ironic that the government passes a bill that gets rid of tea breaks on the week of Labour Day?

It seems like everyone has forgotten what that day is meant to be celebrating. I know I had no idea until a few years ago. Something vague about workers’ rights and 8 hour days dating back to like ages ago. Or something.

Now I know why there was never much emphasis placed on the significance of that day. It’s because if you work an 8-hour day these days, you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to work crazy hours or 2 jobs just to put food on the table because the rising cost of living is showing no sign of slowing down. Now with the rights of employers to slash one of the few opportunities for downtime that workers have, I’m starting to wonder what could possibly be next.

I can sit here and go on a rampage criticizing the National-led government for not knowing or caring what real workers and families go through but I’m not going to do that. We all saw it coming; the past 6 years has led to the point where ridiculous, industrial age, bourgeois mentalities run the government, yet this is still what New Zealand voted for.

This is what happens when personality politics clouds critical judgement on issues and policies that actually matter.


  1. @Latifa Daud . Good Sunday Morning to you . I’d just like to thank you invisible flying wizard in the sky for my day of rest .

    This just out on Boingboing . The Post goes some way to explaining what normal , good , caring , loving human beings are up against .
    The dreaded lobbyist . It’s American-centric but then so are we now .
    What we might see as a cruel irony re Labour Day , they will see as an hilarious joke .

    I pride myself on being a Big Picture guy .

    Here’s what happened .

    Hundreds of thousands of New Zealander / Aotearoans / Sundry other hard working diverse Nationalities created NZ as we knew it over a few hundred years until it became the envy of the world .

    Then . A few individuals , I reckon no more that four or so , swindled and conned our stuff and things away from us for their profit and prestige and in that process , created the financial sub classes [they] like to have us see how much [they] hate for their sadistic pleasure . And profit .

    Here’s what we do .

    We focus on the enemy and hit it hard where it hurts the most . In it’s wallet .

    We must purge NZ of the foreign owned banks immediately .

    We must default on the loans [they] made to our traitors in parliament who are no longer our politicians but debt retailers .

    We must write – off ALL mortgage debt . No matter the clear inequality of it .

    We must fire-wall our currency against foreign manipulation .

    We must re-nationalise our assets . For example ; make electricity the cost of supply only and since all the hydro dams in the South certainly clawed back their R& D decades ago is it unreasonable for me to expect a power bill that is not $280 .00 a month ( I live alone . It’s terribly sad I know . ) but about $2.80 ?

    We must then have an epic party of biblical proportions . We must eat our best fruits , drink our best wines , smoke our best pot , eat our finest animals ( That sounded a bit iffy ? ) drive our cars on our best LPG , holiday in our land , a land that is one of the most beautiful Lands in the world and now and then we visit roger douglas in prison and pelt him with our most excellent shit .

    All jokes aside . I’m not joking .

    • Yep , you sure are not joking , because realistically, short of that – renationalising many pilfered national assets, and simply giving the boot to foreign meddling of our banking system , giving the old heave ho to exorbitant interest rates set up by the same aforsaid pirates….

      This country will always remain as it is now….in an invisble servitude to nameless, faceless foriegn interests. Whereby that same invisible attribute translates to a very tangible evidence of the plunder, impoverishment , and downright theft of all New Zealanders birthright.

      Our very Nation.

  2. It seems many people have forgotten, or have no appreciation, of all the sacrifices our forefathers made to enshrine those workers’ rights into our labour laws.

  3. I spent many years in sole charge positions where the first requirement was that you liked cold coffee or didn’t mind taking and hour and half to eat a sandwich, one bit at a time, between customers. Thing was come about 2pm it would go quiet and I would take as long a break as I could, some days you could end up doing pretty much nothing for an hour or more, on others you might be lucky to 10 minutes to yourself. There was no quibbling or watch tapping by the boss.
    But I was lucky, under this new law, it is altogether theoretically possible for breaks to be removed altogether, and I am not clear what “being compensated” for it really means. Does that mean you get about an hour’s extra pay through the day or what or do you just get paid normally?

    • @ Raegun –

      Perhaps ‘being compensated’ now means you get to keep your job if you conform to the employer’s demands! Non compliance equates to no job! That wouldn’t be surprising at all!

  4. Yep it is really disgusting. Ha ha really ironic too. Saying that the unions/left parties and others did not really seem to kick up too much fuss about it. That is also part of the problem. Apathy and lack of action. For example the labour party seems more interested in leadership changes than actually NZ welfare. This may not be true but I feel that is the voter perception. I favor a guerrilla style campaign of billboards like the above but with NZ spelling could be a start. You have to take the information to the people. Young people don’t even know that people had to fight for a 40 hr week (and were called terrorists at the time). These changes are under ‘flexibility’ which is such a ‘nice’ sounding reason but they are not matched by any checks and balances. Ie if someone works 7 days a week for minimum wage but no guaranteed hours and just has to turn up (sky city dream world) and hope for work, can be fired at will especially within the 90 day period, and the tax payer can pay their wages too under ‘training schemes’. We are in that world now. It is scary. How can you get that house when you don’t even have a real job – even though you do. There needs to be proper analysis of scenarios to make it real for people. It is not that people don’t care it is just with ‘information overload’ they don’t understand how bad these laws really are and how their rights are being taken by stealth – one law at a time over 6 years and it is continuing until we are the USA. No workers rights, no welfare, no ACC, no healthcare. Welcome to Godzone of the future!

    • Let us rename “Godzone” to “godgone” perhaps? Sad it is, what has happened to this country. It has so much to offer, but it has become the playground of the selfish, the rich, and the mercenaries in too high numbers, so willing to lick the boots of the masters.

  5. Also someone also needs to look at secondary tax. Since the poorest people normally come under this category as they are working multiple jobs it should go asap.

  6. Just a continuum of the last 35 years of neo liberal economic dogma…

    Soon we will all be wearing cheese cutter hats or the equivalent and heading down the coal mines with a pick over our shoulders…..including those who voted for the same this latest election.

    Time for the new tide of Keynesian economics to make a return…too bad people are too disconnected, disinterested , and too dumbed down to even know what that is.

    This country is now a joke. Honestly.

  7. I agree with “electricity being the cost of supply” that would be one thing that would reduce poverty.
    Besides that, it is well documented that John Key is a professional liar, and people that voted for him just didn`t care that a dishonest man would lead this country, instead of someone with honesty and integrity.

  8. The National led government knows, and has known for years, that the common practice in many work places is already “loose” and “flexible”. I know of many working in retail, in restaurants and so, who NEVER get a proper tea break, it is simply not known to be a “right” anymore, for so many. I have seen many working also in offices, who have their “tea” or other drink, and food, more or less DURING work, on the run and so. It is common practice already, that most workers do NOT even get a proper break anymore. As for the only break they still may be able to enforce and get, that is the “lunch break”.

    That allows most to vanish from the work site or office, and disappear, to breathe, do some social interaction via text, Facebook or whatever, choke and gobble a quick snack down the throat, and then return to the next round of pressure lashing until the grand finale at 5 pm or so.

    So many are on contract work now, they would not allow themselves a break, so they work through, some even 10 to 12 hours, just to get the work done, so they meet obligations and can charge what pays their income and expenses.

    That is the reality, dear friends, and when you hear Helen Kelly and so talk, yes they are far from reality, as the reality is much, much worse and disturbing as the CTU wish to realise.

    Breaks are no longer “social” occasions, as they used to be, they are rushed swallow and drink minutes, to just give the body some nutrients and / or stimulants to keep going, nothing else.

    We need to return to liveable lives, as most do not even know anymore what that means and should be like. Too many are also walking around like zombies, staring at smart phones, tablets and so, during “breaks” and during commuting to work and home.

    Indeed, I fear we have no longer a natural, “normal” human society, most have become robots made of flesh, and are so brainwashed, and conditioned, and pressured, they simply put up with it, and think this is the “new normal”.

    With this, and much else, the human species is on the “right” track to self destruction, we need little more, to complete the task, to get there. It shows how vulnerable and receptive we really are to psychological and mental manipulation and conditioning, we are our own worst enemies, I fear.

    The intense, divisive individualisation and consumerism, quick fix brainwashing has led to people not even trusting each other anymore, not feeling comfy with each other, and thus not join any collective effort that would be needed to change all this.

  9. Fascism exhibits the worst kind of Capitalism where corporate power is absolute and all vestiges of workers’ rights are destroyed.

  10. The National government, led by an uncaring, selfish, money hungry liar, a harlequin of two faces and a forked tongue, wearing the title of PM under the guise of many hats, with which he’s meant to represent this country and its people while in service to the public. What a load of cobblers bollocks.
    As I see it, this control freak with the name Key, has no intention of honoring any member of this nation, other than himself and his capitalist morons, has breached his Oath of Allegiance while passing the new tea break bill into law. He’s forgotten that the Oath states he must respect democratic values, and respect the rights and freedoms of the people. That has been ignored by the National party as a whole, which includes National supporters who do the financial backing to get what they want. The public have unjustly been denied their rights in having a say in the tea break saga. That brings blatant discrimination into play, through political abuse of bullying and depravation to the public.
    There’s a petition calling for the democratic rights of a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister John Key. If you want to keep your democracy, your rights and your freedom, and show the National government you won’t be putting up with their unruly behaviours, along with their silence on the TPPA being lined up to take over this country and the people, I urge you to sign it.
    Trevor Mills.

  11. NO , Dear Latifa, you’re not the only one (thank God).

    Life has gone seriously, SERIOUSLY WRONG in past decades.

    We are moving BACKWARDS-
    – DESPITE ” huge technological advancements “.

    It does not make any sense!

    Back in the 70’s, in New Zealand,
    ONE breadwinner per Family was enough.
    Mothers were free to do THE most important job in the world.
    As well, WEEKENDS were FREE TIME . To spend with family.
    Those who were needed to work additional hours were paid OVERTIME (= +++$$$)to compensate
    Now, FAST FORWARD 3 decades : – from 20th Century to 21st..

    – NECESSITY of BOTH parents needing to work,
    LONGER hours, for LESS pay
    6 day week is normal (FREE WEEKENDS is History)

    AND NOW…in the year 2014 –

    Suddenly …
    the Morning tea break is eliminated????

    W T F ????
    Eliminated… BY WHOM???


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