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Employment Relations Bill Restores Fair Conditions


The Employment Relations Bill sends a clear message to employers that industry competition must be between products and services, not wages and working conditions, says Associate Minister of Labour Laila Harré.

"The desire for a return to more equitable workplace relations was reflected at the polls last November, and today Labour and the Alliance deliver on that promise."

Laila Harré says for the past nine years wages and working conditions have been slashed under the guise of market flexibility.

"But the National government never successfully persuaded New Zealanders that they should accept Employment Contracts Act-style arrangements," she says.

"The repeal of the act is the first attack on the fundamentals of the new right agenda."

Laila Harré says both she and Labour Minister Margaret Wilson are satisfied that the Employment Relations Bill reflects the input of both coalition partners.

"Most importantly it restores opportunities for good faith bargaining and union involvement in workplace relations," she says.

The 30-day new worker provision will make sure that the most vulnerable employees are protected at the outset and have genuine rights of access to a union.

The bill will also prevent employees contracting out to avoid adhering to collective agreement and the minimum code, Laila Harré says.

"These changes, together with instant and effective dispute resolution, will do huge things for the morale of New Zealand workers."

Further information contact Claire Hall, press sec, (04) 471-9902 or 025 270 9001

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