Editorial: new beginnings

E tū National Secretary Rachel Mackintosh

E tū National Secretary Rachel Mackintosh

Welcome to this edition of E tū and you. It is my honour to be the National Secretary of E tū, a union with a proud history and a powerful future.

In September and October, I and most other staff in our union were out in our towns and cities meeting with union members. From small meetings in workplaces to general and large site meetings that were bursting at the seams, it was great to see so many of you there. Right across the country, we demonstrated the strength and diversity of our union.

September also saw our general election campaign launch, MCed by our co-President Gadiel Asiata. At that event, our other co-President Muriel Tunoho, our outgoing National Secretary Bill Newson, and union delegate Matewai Roberts spoke to members and politicians about their experiences as union members and working people, and the importance to our work of the support of a worker-friendly government.

The outcome of the election was not what we campaigned for, but our engagement with members on issues important to workers will not go to waste. We are an organising and campaigning union.

Right now, we face challenging times, with likely economic and political head-winds coming our way. To meet the challenge, we are organising to build the strength and confidence of our workplace leaders, to be an open and welcoming union to all new workers who join us, and to those who stay with us, and to stand up for workers rights wherever we are.

We also continue to campaign. When we have the ear of government, we campaign for laws that will support our work and the rights of working people. In other times, we campaign with our allies across our communities on issues that are important to our members, winning a Living Wage and better lives for all.

All E tū members have a place in our union. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us through the 160 years of our history. Each of us can trace our own work back through one of the many threads of our crafts and industries that have been woven together to form E tū. We work in aviation, care, health, manufacturing, engineering, mining, property services, postal and logistics services, electrocomms, media, the creative industries, and many others.

The E tū National Executive in October

You will see stories of this work and this diverse base in the pages of this magazine. The stories in these pages weave together with all the other stories of collective commitment in E tū to build the strength of this union. E tū grows in power every time a delegate represents a member, every time we renew a collective agreement, every time we take action, every time another person chooses to join us.

In closing, I acknowledge our outgoing National Secretary, Bill Newson. Bill led industrial campaigns for decades as a union official, and was a key leader in the creation of E tū in 2015. He served the movement selflessly for 50 years, from his rank-and-file membership as an apprentice, to holding the highest office of National Secretary. Haere ra, e hoa. The union is the richer for your service.