Pelenatita Tangi, Sisi Palu and Latu Sao out campaigning
Young activist Caroline Iki
The result of the 2020 General Election is excellent for E tū members. The Labour Party had a decisive victory, winning a historic result with 50% of the vote and is able to govern alone for the first time in Aotearoa New Zealand’s MMP history. The Green Party returned to Parliament and increased their number of MPs.
Both these parties went into the election with strong policies for workers and E tū worked closely with them in our election campaign. The Government has a mandate for transformational changes in the workplace relations space, including the implementation of Fair Pay Agreements, the Living Wage for all workers employed by contractors in the public service, doubling sick leave, making Matariki a public holiday, and more.
Labour’s Mount Roskill MP, Michael Wood, who is an E tū member, has been made Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety, putting him in charge of delivering many of the changes we need. Some E tū members will already know Michael Wood as a strong ally who made his commitment to our union and our priorities very clear both before and since the election. We congratulate Michael Wood, as well as the many other new and returning MPs who are E tū members and active unionists.
We know that politicians alone cannot deliver the changes we need at our workplaces and across our wider communities. That is why E tū’s election slogan was “Real change starts with us” – our campaigning, organising, and activism are essential ingredients for winning.
Lalopua Sanele making election calls to fellow members
E tū members participated in a spectacular election campaign. We made more than 13,000 phone calls collectively to ensure that our members were ready and equipped to vote. We held events across the country where members met with candidates and made sure our issues were at the front of their minds. We used our influence as a union affiliated to the Labour Party to develop and strengthen its workplace relations policies.
While the 2020 election is over, participating in democracy remains as important as ever. Our next priority is to make sure that the new Government holds to their commitments for working people. Whether it is the COVID-19 recovery and rebuild, the Just Transition in changing and evolving industries, or better wages and conditions for all workers more broadly, E tū members must stay involved in the fight for decent lives.