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CTU Hidden Agenda?

CTU Hidden Agenda?

The national body for rural contractors in New Zealand believes the CTU is planning to require all employees of contractors to be paid a minimum of 30 hours per week after the Election.

Rural Contractors New Zealand Executive Director Roger Parton said that belief arises from the total silence by the CTU over the situation where foreign workers in New Zealand are guaranteed 30 hours per week pay, while the New Zealander working alongside is not.

Mr Parton said that the Federation is aware that union officials have been in Pacific islands, talking with workers before the RSE recruitment process was started, and that as a result, some workers come to New Zealand with unrealistic ideas as to what they should expect.

“I continue to be amazed at the silence of the CTU where New Zealand workers are discriminated against”, said Mr Parton, "and my Council has drawn the only logical conclusion, that is the silence before the Election will be followed by demands after the Election that New Zealand workers employed by contractors also receive at least 30 hours pay”.

Such a move would make contracting in an industry which is dependant both on crop readiness and weather, uneconomic and would severely hit New Zealand’s primary produce sector, with resulting substantial economic loss, Mr Parton said.

A recent Federal Court decision in Australia where unions have won the right to bargain on behalf of contractors, lends further weight to the suspicion of what the moves are likely to be post 8 November.

“I would be delighted if the CTU proves me wrong” said Mr Parton, “but their silence on this issue in the last two years, would suggest that we are not too far from the truth of this matter.”


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