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New Law Gives Govt Bullies A Platform

Government MPs and unions are banding together to abuse the select committee process on the Employment Relations Bill, Max Bradford, Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson revealed today.

"The head of the select committee's revealed to unions his plans to abuse the select committee process, and told unions what they can do to help.

"Chair Graham Kelly last week briefed unions in Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Porirua and Wairarapa on tactics to ensure the Bill gets passed.

"Graham Kelly has told them he will arrange for the union select committee submissions to be heard during the daytime when the media is there. He told them the anti-bill submissions from employers would be heard at night when he thought the media would be less likely to come.

"He's also told them to prepare for one hearing Christchurch, one in Hamilton and two in Auckland. This is all news to the select committee. We haven't even considered, let alone decided, these things yet.

"For their part, unions intend to stack the select committee's meetings.

"The Employment Relations Bill is a platform for unions to take control again and it's clear this Government will help in every way.

"Most New Zealanders aren't used to the old-style union bullying tactics, but the Hubbard's Foods case has shown the lengths they go to to intimidate employers.

"Dick Hubbard, who is characterised as the country's most socially responsible employer, isn't immune so what is in store for others?"

"Graham Kelly has given the unions tips to keep their bullying to a minimum in the select committee. He's told unionists not to refer to employers or Opposition MPs as 'dogs or pigs' and not to lose their tempers when questioned by Opposition MPs.

"And they've been given specific instructions to be nice to New Zealand First's Peter Brown - in the hope he will back the Bill."

Ends

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