Friday, September 15, 2006

Ongoing support

(Date set to keep this at the top for a few days)

The Dominion-Post reports that unions have raised almost $100,000 to support the locked-out supermarket distribution workers. It sounds like a lot of money, but when you split it 550 ways, its only about $180 per person - not that much to cover 19 days so far without pay. More public support is needed, and it needs to be ongoing, for as long as the lock-out lasts. So, I'm proposing that we put our money where our mouths are, and make a commitment. I've created a pledge on PledgeBank saying

I will donate $20 each week to support the locked-out supermarket distribution workers but only if 10 other New Zealanders will too.

You can sign it here.

$20 is the cost of one call to the 0900 LOCK OUT number, and that's all I'm asking people to sign up for: call that number once a week (or donate by direct credit or online) until the lock-out ends. Obviously, don't sign up unless you can spare the cash.

I've gone for a deadline of Friday because I want to get donations flowing by the end of the week, and I've deliberately chosen a low trigger number because I want this to succeed. Note that there's nothing stopping people from signing up to a pledge has met its target, and I'd encourage people to do so. The more people who sign up and donate, the greater a show of support it will be.

This is the first time I've tried to use PledgeBank to raise money for a cause, and it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Update: well, that was quick - we've hit the target in less than 24 hours. Time to start making those donations...

Note that you can still add your name and commit to the pledge, as the deadline hasn't closed. The more people who sign up, the more effective it will be.

Update 2 (14/09/2006): Bumped to keep it at the top for a while longer. Currently there are 20 signups; can we make it 25 by the end of the week?


I already gave them $20 earlier today.

Posted by stephen : 9/11/2006 09:55:00 PM

$30 today.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 9/11/2006 10:00:00 PM

I suggest temporary jobs with the upside that they might realise they dont need to work in marginally worthwhile jobs.

I think for one thing you could work in with one of those telemarketing companies - negligable training required and a huge volume of work as well as a pretty good chance of making more per hr than as a distribution worker.

maybe they arent alowed to do that...

Posted by Genius : 9/12/2006 07:11:00 AM

Genius, "Telemarketing"? Moving from a position of having public sympathy to being hated and reviled?

Hardly a winning move in my opinion.


Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2006 08:51:00 AM

Call centre work is pretty horrible, by most accounts, and the money is not that hot either.

Why should they have to get other jobs just because they want to be paid fairly??

Good to see several commenters on this thread have already given money. And good on you I/S for doing this.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2006 09:38:00 AM


if you loose 15 or 20 days of work and you arent paid for it you've effectively taken a pretty heavy cut in your wages. Pretty soon they will have taken more cut than they are even aiming for as a wage hike.

having some work would alow them to hold out longer.

Also telemarketing isnt all that bad - probably makes more than a distribution worker as long as you are even marginally good - you get a minimum wage and a 10 a sale bonus plus somthing else (I forget) - anyway if your at least marginally good at it it would probably beat being a distribution worker esp if the use youth rates.

maybe your right - it depends on if we are going for public sympathy or forcing the company to do somthing with brute 'strike' force.

Posted by Genius : 9/13/2006 07:33:00 AM

more importantly of course, the workers have been locked out, and are on a picket-line outside the distribution centre. If they have to go off and get another job, then the picket line is...

Posted by Anonymous : 9/13/2006 10:44:00 AM

manned by the rest of them that don't need the money. Or by random other supporters.

Posted by Genius : 9/13/2006 09:03:00 PM

I've just mailed some NDU pamphlets about the Lockout to my folks, both red-ribbon Labour voters who live in Australia.

It'll be interesting to see what happens as a result...


Posted by Anonymous : 9/14/2006 06:07:00 PM