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Laid Bare at Last: The Real Union Agenda

Laid Bare at Last: The Real Union Agenda

Papers obtained under the Official Information Act lift the lid on the real agenda that the union leadership has in store for New Zealand employers and workers, according to New Zealand Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr.

Mr Kerr was commenting on proposals outlined in a submission by the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) entitled NZCTU Proposals on a Review of the Employment Relations Act 2000 .

"It has taken four months to obtain a non-classified document that was submitted to the government in December 2002", Mr Kerr said. "Now we can see why".

The submission makes it clear that for the CTU the new legislation is just another staging post. The ultimate agenda is to engineer a return to the dark ages of national awards, compulsory unionism, compulsory arbitration and pay equity.

The submission states baldly that the CTU's interest is "in more fundamental measures such as a return of the [national] award system." It wants "various forms of arbitration" to be imposed. This is consistent with public statements by the CTU that the bill does not go far enough.

"No wonder labour minister Margaret Wilson was loath to release the submission. It is clear that the real architect of the Wilson bill is Ross Wilson, head of the CTU.

"Once again, the government has caved in to union demands that are against the interests of ordinary New Zealanders", Mr Kerr said.

"Workers, employers and opposition parties must pull out all the stops to fight the bill. Today's so-called 'new breed' union leaders have been revealed as just 'dinosaurs with degrees', and capitulation to their demands would mean less freedom for workers and employers and a less prosperous New Zealand," Mr Kerr said.

A copy of the CTU submission will be available on the NZBR website from 12pm, or can be obtained from the Communications Advisor.

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