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New employment bill based on false premise

Hon Max Bradford
Opposition Industrial Relations Spokesperson

16 March 2000

New employment bill based on false premise

The Government’s revealing just how out of touch it is with what goes on in the New Zealand workplace, Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today during the debate on the Employment Relations Bill.

“The second reading debate in Parliament made it clear that the mistake Labour, the Alliance and the Council of Trade Unions have made is they still believe that management and employees are natural enemies.

“The reality is most staff have respect and pride for the organisation they work for, and they work together. This is particularly true in New Zealand where a lot of people work in small organisations where they sink or swim together.

“I have issued three challenges to the Minister of Labour. If she is not prepared to give New Zealanders confidence that jobs will increase under the legislation then the Government should not proceed with the Bill.

“If she is not confident the pervasive intrusion of unions into the New Zealand workplace will lead to a more settled industrial environment than we have now then the Bill should not proceed.

“The industrial relations legislation that preceded the Employment Contracts Act, major parts of which form part of this legislation, produced the worst strike record in the decade before 1991 – so how can she have any confidence at all that this bill will deliver anything better?”


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