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No national awards under the ERB

The Minister of Labour Margaret Wilson says it is complete nonsense for the Employers' Federation to claim that under the Employment Relations Act unions will be able to strike for the equivalent of national awards.

"The Bill enables unions to seek a multi-employer contract and to strike in support of it. But a multi-employer contract is nothing like a national award. National awards last existed under the Labour Relations Act which was repealed in 1991. They applied to all employers employing the relevant type of employee, whether or not the employer was involved in negotiating the award, or even knew of its existence.

"There are no such provisions in the Employment Relations Bill" said Ms Wilson.

"The Employers' Federation would gain credibility and influence if it concentrated its criticism, however ill-founded, on parts of the Bill which actually exist."


This relates to a release issued by the Employers' Federation on 18 July 2000 (Government has chance to bolster employers' confidence). The release included this statement:

"Being able to call strikes to achieve the equivalent of national awards will soon be legal, unlike now. This will put some employers at the mercy of national unions.

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