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Workers in small businesses across the country have been subject to increasing attacks on their rights to work since the election of the current government.

The National Party’s 90 Day Hire and Fire Act, which started in March 2009 means that any worker at a business that employs under 20 workers (over 90% of worksites, over 30% of employed workers) can be fired without reason during the first 90 days of employment. The Council of Trade Unions estimates that approximately 100,000 people fall into this category at any one time.

While workers at larger worksites are currently not affected, the National Party has shown that it will likely seek to extend this law to all workers at some point and there is no doubt that the powerful business lobbies will be heavily pushing for this over the coming years.

Recent years have seen an increase in casualised labour, temp agencies and the like. The 90 Day Act simply takes these moves one step further in reducing job security. The message from the Government and employers is clear – we should be grateful for the jobs we have, and accept attacks without question or we will be fired.

In reality however, the capitalist system – the very system that organises the economy at the moment – is based on us workers selling our labour to the employers who make huge profits from our time and effort. And now, in times of economic crisis with diminishing profits, it is supposed to be the workers who pay for the bosses’ stuff-up!

We can resist attacks by taking collective action with our fellow workers. By linking together (in unions and in other groups) we can better focus our power and fight for better wages and conditions.
The only way to stop the 90 Day Act (and any future extensions of it) is by taking direct action, standing up with our workmates and supporting any and all victims of this law. Employers that attempt to use this legislation must be targeted with pickets, slowdowns, work-to-rule and other forms of collective action in order to teach them a lesson – that it is workers who hold the power and when we act together we can and will win!

AWSM has already joined in actions alongside unions and other groups fighting against the 90 Day Act and will continue to do so-get involved today!

About us

This leaflet against the 90 Day Hire & Fire Act is produced by the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM), an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism.

We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand. For now, we are a small organisation with members in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and several smaller towns in between.

As class struggle anarchists our priority is active involvement in workplace struggles and industrial action as well as community based campaigns in our neighbourhoods. We are currently involved in the struggles against residential water metering in Wellington, the 90 Day “Hire & Fire” Act nationally, strike support and more.

We publish a monthly newsheet and a less frequent but more in-depth theoretical magazine as well. If you think this is your kind of group then please get in touch with us.

You can subscribe to our newssheet – simply visit our website, and fill in the form to subscribe to our announcement list via email, or if you’d prefer a hard copy, subscriptions are $8 for 12 issues mailed anywhere in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Again, email us to organise this.