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Wilson won’t rule out more strikes

The Minister of Labour has refused to rule out more strikes and lockouts as a result of her Employment Relations Bill, Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

“The Minister had the chance today during question time in Parliament to allay concerns about increased strike action under her Bill – but she would not.

“Furthermore on the Holmes programme when asked whether we’d see more strikes under the Employment Relations Bill she would not confirm it instead saying she ‘doesn’t know if we’ll see more strikes’.

“We are clearly heading backwards into an the era of more industrial strife.

“In the House today the Minister claimed that strikes have been on a downward path since 1970.

“The attached table shows quite clearly that person days lost to strikes peaked in the mid-1980s and only began falling substantially when the Employment Contracts Act came into effect in 1991.

“We can only presume from the Minister’s unwillingness to confirm that strikes will not increase under the Employment Relations Bill that the Government is expecting more strike action and conflict in the workplace.

“When you consider what’s in the Bill such as monopoly rights being returned to unions for collective bargaining and strikes being possible in the pursuit of multi-employer agreements it is a certainty we will see more industrial action,” Mr Bradford said.


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