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Employment Relations Bill Changes – All Spin

Employment Relations Bill Changes – All Spin And No Substance

The Employment Relations Bill is an attack on business, on the sanctity of contract, on free enterprise, said ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble.

“Parliamentary privilege prevents me from releasing the details of the deliberation until the House reports. When the Bill is reported to Parliament, I will be keen to tell of the intrigue and deceit being practised.

“The coalition’s tactics are deceitful. First, the government introduces an over-the-top new law. The Bill contains provisions that trade union officials have said go beyond even their wildest dreams.

“This Bill gives the trade union movement more power than any previous industrial legislation. The clause that makes it illegal for the owner of a business to make alternative arrangements in a strike, has made the strike an industrial lethal weapon. In the days of compulsory unionism, strikes were illegal!

“The coalition’s strategy is to make changes in clauses that are not essential to the trade union movement. The Ministers want to create the spin with the media that the Labour/Alliance government has listened to business.

“By keeping the provisions of the Bill secret, while Ministers claim there are changes, they hope to soften opposition.

“The tactic is then to table the Bill at the beginning of August and then rush it through Parliament under urgency before business can analyse what the changes mean. The Bill is a massive 189 pages long and most business people just have not got time to consider it.

“We will see more strikes. We will see less investment. The real gap, between New Zealand and Australia, will grow.

“I want to leave you with one encouraging fact. We only have to put up with the new law for two years. This is a one term government. The polling gap between ACT/National and Labour and the Alliance keeps closing. Last Monday it was just 2%.

“As we see strikes in transport, in social services, in industry, we will see this left wing coalition’s popularity dissolve,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

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