Mayday 2016

Preparations are underway for this year’s Mayday celebrations, to be held Friday 29th April to Sunday May 1st. It is Runanga’s turn to host the celebration and once again we will be visiting the sustainable economy/just transition paradigm, becoming more specific. The theme will be worker/union input into the task. There has been considerable activity over the last year from Development West Coast and Councils, but there has been no consultation with unions or workers. It seems like something of a lolly scramble is occurring for local capitalists.

To this end we have asked unions with members on the Coast to get behind the forum planned for Saturday 30th April. Their response has been very positive and so far the forum is being held under the umbrella of: E tu, TEU, NZEI, FIRST, NZNO, Blackball Museum of Working Class History, Runanga Miners Hall Trust and Grey District Council Economic Development Unit.  Topics to be covered will include: 1. Exemplars – businesses that work on the Coast. A quartet of business owners/managers will be asked to present, identifying core features that make them sustainable: Blackball Salami, Coastwood Furniture, Roa Mining, Moana Hotel…
2. Tensions between sector needs (e.g. tourism and extraction) and possible solutions to the tensions, including the union role.
3. Role of the education sector.
4. Possibilities of collaboration: between councils, between advocacy organisations, between businesses, between unions…
5. Co-operative models – is there a role for the co-operative?
6. Increasing the population and making it an aware population. Consumer education. Living Wage. Union awareness…
7. Neo-liberal constraints. The neo-liberal economy with its urban gravitational pull, TPPA ramifications…
8. Thinking outside the square and what is required to carry it through (e.g. attracting migrants, refugees or retirees, organic dairying…).
On Friday 29th, the annual Runanga/Blackball debate will take place in Blackball at the Working Men’s Club and on Sunday, May 1st, there will be family-friendly community events at Runanga.

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