No Surrender! New Zealand workers have counted for nothing for far too long. If they mean to have a class war - let it begin here.
STEADY, COMRADES, STEADY. This is the worst they have. This is all they’ve got left. After this, they have nothing. So, hold steady, comrades, hold steady.
Nothing has changed down on the wharves. The ships are still sailing past. There’s still only a handful of useless scabs sitting on their hands. The people who keep the Port of Auckland running are the members of MUNZ. You were out yesterday. You’re out today. And you’ll be out again tomorrow.
Gibson still has no workforce. The port still lies idle. Yes, he’s announced your dismissal – but you all knew he was going to do that sooner or later. That he’s opted to do it sooner is a measure of how much and how badly you’ve hurt him.
The tipping-point was the demonstration of international and local solidarity. The ships that have not – and will not – dock at Auckland. The heroic secondary picketing at Tauranga and Wellington which held up those scab-loaded ships for 24-48 hours. What choice did Gibson and his Board of Directors have except to “go nuclear” and issue the redundancy notices?
It’s time for cool heads now. Time to sit back and have a quiet think.
Where’s Gibson going to get 300 stevedores? Australia? Really? The same show of international solidarity that saw all those ships steam past Auckland will stop all but the most scabrous of Aussies from crossing the ditch. And why would they come here anyway? What sort of wages and conditions can they look forward to receiving from any stevedoring company willing to sign Gibson’s contract?
No. Gibson and his minions can only recruit a new workforce of stevedores from the stevedores he’s already got – yourselves. Stay strong, don’t waver, and the Port of Auckland will stay closed.
Gibson’s made a mistake. He’s left you with no option now except to fuck him and his mates completely. It’s no surrender now, comrades, and no quarter asked or given. This does not stop until Gibson and the POAL board are sacked. He’s trying to take your jobs. That leaves you with no choice but to take his.
So, don’t worry, and don’t flinch. There are thousands of Kiwis standing with you in spirit. They’re ready to dig deep into their pockets for you and your families. And if Gibson tries to moves scabs onto those wharves, you just wait and see. There’ll be hundreds ready to stand at your shoulder. As General Petain assured the soldiers of France at the Battle of Verdun: “They shall not pass!”
And there are other means of defence. You’ve got some of New Zealand’s best legal brains at your disposal. The POAL’s lack of good faith is there to be exposed; their actions are just begging to be struck down. There are good men and women ready to take this all the way to the Supreme Court – if that's what's required.
Political support is there, too. Labour, the Greens, Mana – even Winston – will take up your cause. They know that you are New Zealand citizens: people with rights; not slaves. Working people have counted for nothing in this country for far too long. As the American militia commander told his men before the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April 1775: “Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”
So stand steady, comrades. If it seems dark now, it will be lighter soon. You are not alone. You have right on your side - and time as well. Every day and every ship that passes brings the moment of reckoning for Tony Gibson and his mates one day and one ship closer.
And the same goes for that filleted jellyfish formerly known as Len Brown. If I may conclude by paraphrasing the Australian Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, on the day he was dismissed:
“Well may you say ‘God save Auckland’s port’ – because nothing will save Auckland’s mayor!”
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.