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Employers Fed - Facts Speak For Themselves

Monday 7 July 1999

“It is surprising that Labour is attempting to distract people from the survey results undertaken by well respected research company AC Nielsen. Why don’t they want to listen?,” Employers Federation CEO, Steve Marshall said today.

This follows comments from Labour’s Pete Hodgson that “the Employer’s Federation survey on the ECA has poignantly failed to ask the key question as to whether the Act meets with New Zealanders’ approval”

“Well we did. Research firm, AC Nielsen conducted the survey on a normal professional basis, interviewing 1000 New Zealanders. Is Mr Hodgson casting aspersions on their well respected reputation? (Attached, all relevant questions to this brochure, that were asked in the survey undertaken by AC Nielsen.)

The question asked read” The Employment Contracts Act has been in New Zealand since 1991. Overall which of these best describes your attitude to the Employment Contracts Act?

The answers were: strongly approve 8%; approve 32%; neither /nor 26%; disapprove 19%;strongly disapprove 12%; don’t know 3%.

“The reality is that the Employment Contracts Act isn’t the big bogey that they make out. At least 66% are not looking for a change.

“And despite all the negative hoopla that some politicians want everyone to believe, the vast majority of employers and employees actually like each other, and work positively together. 75% were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their current terms and conditions of employment. Only 14% were “not very satisfied” or “not at all satisfied” with their employer. Only 7% felt the same negative way about their job! Why change?

“The reality is that unfortunately, whatever the law, there are always going to be a very small percentage of ratbag employers, and ratbag employees. This isn’t acceptable, but frankly, repealing the ECA wont improve it.

“It is concerning for industrial relations in New Zealand when political policy is based on extreme ideology and outdated models of conflict - an us versus them mentality. This is the mentality that brought families so much grief with high levels of strike action and cost jobs and growth.

“It would be good if all politicians actually took a more common sense approach and listened to what this survey is saying before they go attacking the messenger, yet again,” Mr Marshall concluded.


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