On January 14  the Speak Up for Women Campaign was launched.

This campaign is to oppose the current state of the Birth, Deaths, Marriages and Relationship Registrations bill and its proposals for sex self-identification.

“The BDMRR Bill will be read when Parliament returns in February 2019 and the campaign organisers are asking for help to ensure the parliamentarians understand this is concerning many people. Please spread the word! #SpeakUpNZ #NoSexSelfID

“We again ask that Our Three Reasonable Demands listed below are taken seriously.

“1. The Government must put the self-ID proposal on hold until there is reasonable public consultation. Respectful, evidence-based public consultation must take place, including with women who are affected by the proposals.

speakup2. The Government must review how the proposed changes will affect data gathering, reporting and the integrity of records for things such as crime, health and monitoring sex-based discrimination such as the pay gap.

3. The Government must review how the proposed changes will impact the protected category of “sex,” intended to protect women from discrimination under the Human Rights Act

“If you haven’t done so already, please consider sending a message to your MP. We have made it very easy for you to do so, it only takes a minute – just fill out the form here.”

https://speakupforwomen.nz/email-your-mp/

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Pic: Der Spiegel

Today, January 15, 2019, marks the 100th anniversary of the murder of one of the finest revolutionaries of all, Rosa Luxemburg.  She and fellow revolutionary workers’ leader Karl Liebknecht were executed at the behest of German Labourite heads.

On Redline, we have a range of articles about – and some material by! – Rosa Luxemburg.

Rosa Luxemburg’s political legacy

Rosa’s last article

Rosa Luxemburg on Marxism, class struggle an the fight for women’s right to vote

Rosa Luxemburg in the 21st century

Thousands turn out for Luxemburg and Liebknecht commemoration

Rosa Remixed Up: 100 years after The Accumulation of Capital

Erin Polaczuk and Rosa Luxemburg

For a range of Rosa’s work, check out the Rosa Luxemburg library on the Marxist Internet Archive, here.

by Don Franks

According to Benjamin Franklin, “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance”.

Ben never drove through Marlborough – New Zealand’s largest wine region has hard work, high risk and tense competition written all over it.

Mile after mile the land is pinned by hard-treated posts, in dead straight rows.  Countless workers have Read the rest of this entry »

Pic: NDTV

by The Spark

As the US government shutdown enters its third week, almost a million workers have been sent home or are working without a paycheck. “Essential employees” – about 420,000 – are working without pay. Another 380,000 have been placed on unpaid leave. Millions more may be impacted as “business as usual” grinds to a halt in sectors touched by the shutdown.

The Congress, on a long weekend break, continues to be paid. In fact, top government officials will be given a ten thousand dollar a year raise in pay, which was not automatically frozen. This on top of six figure salaries and matching perks: limos, expense accounts, etc.

The president is, as usual, Read the rest of this entry »

by Don Franks

It’s summer time, but the living’s not easy.

A New Zealand Council of trade unions cost of living and income survey done last week uncovered distress. Of the 1195 respondents, 70% reported their incomes weren’t keeping up with the cost of living. 

Increased workloads were reported by 55% of respondents. 

CTU President Richard Wagstaff said: “We’ve known for a long time that work in New Zealand and our employment law aren’t up to scratch but on every single metric we surveyed on we’ve found that many more people think it’s getting worse than better.  While Kiwis’ low incomes and their high cost of living are standout issues, people are also reporting concerning levels of workload increase, loss of work/life balance and low job satisfaction”.

He concluded: “Last year’s employment law changes will have made a small difference to working people, but we need much larger systemic change to fix this problem. This needs to be a top priority for Government in 2019.” 

It’s time unions got real. This Government is not about making much large systematic change in favour of workers. Grant Robertson’s first budget made this clearly evident. Read the rest of this entry »

by Don Franks

Fellow workers may have a similar email from Richard Wagstaff, President NZ Council of Trade Unions:

 “Don – I just wanted to wish you a happy and rewarding New Year and to say thank you for being part of the CTU’s online campaigning arm… we want to hear your thoughts about what the year ahead means for you, for your pay-packet and how you’ll get by. 

“Don, together we can make 2019 a great year for working people. Let’s start by making it clear what we need to do to get there”. ( Then follow some questions; has my income and quality of working life has gone up or down, do I think workers conditions look better or worse in Australia?)  

And then “What other comments do you have about cost of living and incomes in New Zealand?”

Here are my comments.

Richard, thanks for the email. Just before we get into New Year, some workers are still reeling after Christmas. Not from over indulgence, from hunger.  Read the rest of this entry »

We are now drawing to the end of Marx’s bicentennial.  He was born in 1818 (May 5).  And March 14 was the 135th anniversary of his death (1883).

This year was also the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto.

Below are some of the pieces we have run on Redline about Marx’s ideas, including pieces which show their continuing relevance to understanding the world as it is and as it could be.

What is Marxism?

What is exploitation?

How capitalism works – and why it doesn’t

Two articles on Wages, prices & lies and Capitalist crisis

4,000 words on Capital

Karl Korsch on “tremendous and enduring” impact of Marx’s Capital (1932)

Engels on Marx on the Working Day

Marx’s critique of classical political economy

Capital, the working class and Marx’s critique of political economy

Capital and the state

How capitalist ideology works

Pilling’s Marx’s Capital: philosophy, dialectics and political economy

How capitalism under-develops the world

The political economy of low-wage labour 

Whatever happened to the leisure society?

Pensions and the retirement age – the problem is capitalism, not an aging population

A nightmare in whiteware: the ‘teamwork’ system, exploitation and alienation

Value, price and the ‘transformation problem’ in Marx’s Capital

The transformation problem and Marx’s crisis theory

Productive and unproductive labour in capitalist society

The use-value of Marx’s value theory