Since we began this site in mid-2011 we have argued that Labour is a capitalist party. Before this site, we argued the same position in the Anti-Capitalist Alliance/Workers Party and, before that, in the original WP and revolution groups which came together to form the ACA (subsequently the new WP).
Events since 2011 have simply confirmed our view. For instance, the Ports struggle in Auckland where Labourite mayor Len Brown certainly proved to be no friend of the workers. Yet, almost unbelievably, the port workers union, MUNZ, one of the more radical unions at that, had donated to Brown’s election fund. They may as well have just gone to the board of directors of the Port company and handed them over the money directly!
As we think about MayDay and workers’ struggles of the past, we need to reflect on the state of the union movement and the working class in New Zealand today. It’s not pretty. And a big part of that is due to unions not seeing through Labour, although many individual workers have.
The political subordination of the unions, or certainly their leaderships to Labour, was a crucial factor in the massive defeats suffered by the working class during the fourth Labour government of 1984-1990. Because Labour suffered a massive defeat in 1990, it was left to National to finish off the job and codify the defeat of the class in the Employment Contracts Act of 1991.
Today, a campaign to disaffiliate unions from Labour could serve as an indispensable part of recreating a movement of unions of, for and by workers. One not subordinated to any party that manages capitalism, one that stands for the political independence of the working class as a class.
See the following pieces on unions and the Labour Party:
And our history of the Labour Party: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-truth-about-labour-a-bosses-party/