Politically motivated strikes are returning to the New Zealand industrial landscape.
Maoists from the Workers Party took Wellington bus drivers out last week. Now Trotskyists from Socialist Aotearoa are targeting McDonalds. The two Marxist-Leninist organisations have become close since Socialist Aotearoa was formed after a split from Socialist Worker earlier this year.
Working through Matt McCarten’s UNITE union, the ultra radical Socialist Aotearoa is exploiting lower paid workers in the fast food industry to further their revolutionary agenda.
Carolan What are workers saying about the company now the strikes have started?
Tucker There’s renewed interest in joining the union- they are excited about strike action, they want to stick it to the multinational. They are seeing more value in joining up now than before.
Carolan Do the fastfood workers see their fight as a fight for all low paid workers?
Tucker Yes. they are bringing up other struggles like the Wellington bus drivers saying that they have to support all workers. I didn’t even mention it!
Carolan For you, what is the role of a socialist as an organiser with a union?
Tucker I think my role is to encourage members to think beyond their workplace- that their personal situation is a symptom of a wider problem, of unequal power relations in an unfairly organised society. That’s what we want to change.
Carolan What can SA readers do to help the McD workers strikes?
Tucker Just come along to the picket lines. All the workers want is support- they are always asking me for that. Most are scared, they’ve never been on a strike.
Similar strikes are likely to increase as re-surgement marxist organisations seek to exploit the economic downturn.