Not content with its 90 day fire at will legislation, effective nil increases to the minimum wage, undermining workers’ rights to four weeks’ annual leave, and restricting union access to workplaces, John Key has revealed National is planning more attacks on workers’ rights. Radio New Zealand reports:
Mr Key has told the Seafood Industry Council conference in Wellington a more flexible labour market is better for both employers and workers.
He was reluctant to spell out what other changes National might make to employment law, refusing to say whether they include further restrictions on collective bargaining.
But he says that while the changes will be good for both employers and workers, trade unions won’t be happy.
My pick is that National is set to dust off this little
gem turd from its 2008 pre-election proposals on employment relations, despite a post-election assurance to the NZ Council of Trade Unions that the Government would not proceed with it:
Restore workers’ rights to bargain collectively without having to belong to a union.
That would take us back to the dark days of the hated Employment Contracts Act, under which employers could effectively set up “bosses unions” or “employee associations” to “represent” some of the more vulnerable workers in the workplace, impose an employer-friendly and worker unfriendly agreement on the employee association, and then tell the union, under threat of locking their members out, that their only choice is to accept the same rough deal.
The Greens want to promote higher wages by strengthening the ability of unions to bargain, including bargaining for multi-employer collective agreements and discouraging the passing on of union negotiated conditions to non-unionised employees. National are clearly seeking to move in the opposite direction – lowering wages by undermining the ability of unions to bargain effectively.