“Unite”, currently organising strikes in fast food outlets, is NZ’s newest and most militant union. It targets young and low paid workers because they are the easiest to manipulate into “revolutionary” action.
Founded in 1998 by some of NZ’s most radical Marxists, Unite has recently become part of a wider “Workers Charter Movement”. This coalition is led by Unite secretary, Matt McCarten and Socialist Workers Organisation boss, Grant Morgan. Its goal is to unite several small Marxist-Leninist and socialist parties, the Unite union and sympathetic individuals into a new “working class” political movement.
I doubt that many of the teens signed up by Unite to storm the counters of Burger King and KFC have any idea who is directing them. Below is a cross-section of Unite personnel together with their known political affiliations. Is there a pattern here?
Don Archer: Unite volunteer organiser, Christchurch. Socialist Workers Oganisation, ex Communist Party.
Paul Blair: Unite Rotorua organiser, has been an executive member of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa, involved with the Green Party. Workers Charter endorser
Bill Bradford: 1998 Unite founding executive member. Green Party, former Workers Communist League supporter
Byron Clark: Unite volunteer, Christchurch. Anti-Capitalist Alliance, spoke at Marxism 2005 conference
Joe Davies: Unite official Christchurch, self proclaimed “communist”
Jasmine Fremantle: Unite volunteer, Wellington. Anti-Capitalist Alliance
Vaughn Gunson: Unite volunteer Whangarei. Socialist Workers Oganisation
Sam Hay: Unite volunteer, Wellington. Anti-Capitalist Alliance
Bernie Hornfeck: Chairman Unite, Rotorua. Socialist Workers Oganisation, ex Communist Party. Workers Charter endorser
Matt McCarten: Unite national secretary. Former editorial board member of Australian Marxist journal “Links”. Workers Charter Movement steering committee.
Simon Oosterman: Unite organiser Auckland, speaker at Marxism 2995 conference.
Robert Reid: 1998 Founding Unite President, former Workers Communist League official
Alistair Shaw: Late 90s, Victoria University Unite student co-ordinator. Leader of the neo-Maoist, Radical Society.
Helen Te Hira: 1998 Founding executive member, Unite, Radical Society member
Mike Treen: Unite organiser, Auckland. Workers Charter Movement steering committee. Alliance Party, ex Communist League.
It’s worth repeating a quote from Unite organiser, Socialist Workers Organisation member and Workers Charter activist, Joe Carolan “At times, you feel like the Bolsheviks during the July Days. A premature uprising runs great risks, especially up against the enemies that we face. This is a David and Goliath battle. But what makes you realise that this is a movement for social justice and not just an exercise in collective bargaining, is the energy, creativity and thirst to have a go at the multinationals that you find in every store.”
Burger flippers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your brains.