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Workplace freedoms on the line

Workplace freedoms on the line

An official information request* revealing the union movement's stage management of the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill comes as no surprise, says Business NZ.

"Even a cursory reading of the bill reveals a desperate attempt to rescue unions," Business NZ Chief Executive Simon Carlaw said.

"Trying to bring back national awards under the guise of multi-employer agreements shows unions don't have confidence in their ability to provide a service that employees want - instead they seek intervention and compulsion.

"This legislative attempt to herd employees into collective agreements would disadvantage many working New Zealanders. Under the bill the playing field would be tipped against those on individual agreements.

"This week Business NZ will publish case studies showing how the bill's provisions would harm ordinary working people - a builder and a bank teller whose pay rates will be able to be held down by a union simply because they don't want to join a union.

"Thousands of working New Zealanders want to negotiate individually for what they're worth - they don't want to be held back because the union says so.

"This is where the bill will hit home hardest - depressing the wages of individual employees.

"Working New Zealanders should take every opportunity to learn about this bill before it's pushed into law. This is not just a bill that discriminates against enterprises and the economy - first and foremost it discriminates against individuals."

*NZ Business Roundtable Official Information Act request to release NZCTU Proposals on a Review of the ERA (Dec 2002)

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