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    Letter No.66
    15 September, 1997

    20 August 1997

    The American UPS parcel-workers strike has been settled, with the Teamsters Union gaining many benefits for part-time workers. The US labour secretary Alexis Herman hails the UPS settlement as "a model for the workplace of the 21st century in the way it invests in both full-time and part-time workers ..."

    24 August 1997

    Salaries and wages rose 2.5% in the June year compared to last year, according to the latest Labour cost index produced by Statistics NZ.

    25 August 1997

    The Anglican Diocese of Dunedin calls for the government to continue to support tax-payer- funded welfare, and to desist from political and promotional efforts to make "dependency" undesirable.

    The Lottery grants board has decided to cut its funding for special-needs equipment for disabled people, saying it has found itself providing essential equipment that other government agencies should take responsibility for.

    26 August 1997

    The Dargaville clothing manufacturer Calman Manufacturing is to close, with the loss of 37 jobs. It says it can no longer compete with cheap imports from Asia and Fiji. Two Whangarei clothing companies Linstrom Clothing and Dione Manufacturing have also closed recently, blaming lower import tariffs.

    27 August 1997

    Tasman Milk Products subsidiary Silverhorn has formed a joint venture with a US firm that could take it's health products into the US. The deal will hopefully save the 70 jobs at their Brightwater factory, which was threatened with closure.

    Forty activists mount a protest outside the Christchurch Convention Centre to protest the public display of the America's Cup. The cup is becoming a focus for protests against "corporate control of NZ". The coalition of community groups at the protest call themselves Cup-Crap the Campaign of United People against Corporates Ripping off Aotearoa's Public.

    28 August 1997

    300 Porirua vehicle assembly workers from Mitsubitshi Motors stop work to march on parliament in protest against the Motor Industry tariff review which will lead to widespread job losses in the sector.

    The latest National Bank survey of business opinion shows that business confidence is rebounding.

    31 August 1997

    Housing NZ has achieved a $111 million profit, despite a rent freeze and a reduction in the state housing pool.

    1 September 1997

    A Business Herald poll shows that business leaders want more structural reform of the economy and the resumption of state-owned asset sales.

    5 September 1997

    A report commissioned by the Maori development ministry Te Puni Kokiri reveals that property and business interests, including housing, farms, forestry and fisheries controlled by Maori, is now worth $10.6 billion. The report also says that there is widespread feeling that these assets are not being used to the greatest benefit of Maori, and that Maori business skills and administrative structures are not up to scratch.

    A snap review of staff at Clear Communications has resulted in the loss of between 30-40 jobs in the corporate support functions.

    6 September 1997

    Mother Teresa of Calcutta 1910-1997. Tireless worker for the poor in India and around the world, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor, and Nobel laureate.

    7 September 1997

    The NZ tourism industry is bracing itself for its worst financial year since 1992, after a dramatic drop in visitor numbers.

    With the takeover of the Egmont Electricity company by Powerco, 38 workers are made redundant.

    While the number of primary school teachers has risen by 2,000 in the last seven years, the number of male teachers has dropped by 335. Men now make up only 20% of primary school teachers.

    9 September 1997

    An international survey of employees and managers in Canada, USA, Australia and NZ has found that women make better bosses than men, because they work harder and their feminine approach is better suited to the modern team-based office.

    The number of job advertisements nationally is down 5.7% compared to August last year. Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington have all shown falls in the number of job advertisements.

    10 September 1997

    The number of people on benefits has risen by 4% in the last year.

    An Australian opinion poll shows that three out of four Australians would rather pay more for their clothes than see tariff protections cut for the textiles, clothing and footwear sector. The sector is facing predictions of thousands of job losses after the tariff cuts.

    11 September 1997

    Labour's social welfare spokesman Steve Maharey calls the increase of numbers of people on benefits a "National Party disaster". Maharey: "All they have is a plan to shut the door on people who currently meet the already stringent criteria for benefits..."

    Social Welfare Minister Roger Sowry says that Income Support is helping people move from welfare to work, and this is helping stem the rise in beneficiaries. He is particularly concerned about the high rate of growth in people receiving the invalids benefit and says the Department is studying this trend.

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