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National:Overturning "compulsory unionism in drag"

Max Bradford

National Industrial Relations Spokesperson

Thursday 10 August 2000

National seeks to overturn "compulsory unionism in drag"

"Associate Labour Minister Laile Harre has admitted today for the first time that employees can be forced to become union members.

"Forcing employees into unions is wrong. The Employment Relations Bill takes away the rights New Zealand workers now have to choose to negotiate their own collective agreements or have a union do it.

"From October 2 if you want a collective agreement then you have to join a union. National is going to fight this injustice and infringement of employee rights.

"More than 80% of New Zealanders don't belong to unions. Labour and the Alliance want to interfere with that, but National will fight to stand up for an employee's right to choose a collective agreement and not be a union member.

"We're proposing a new part in the Bill which will let any group of employees negotiate their own collective agreement and enforce it without a union.

"Non-union collective bargaining happens in many countries around the world, including our major trading partner Australia. The ILO rules allow it. Why won't this Government?

"Part Five of the ERB not only hits employees but contains some key changes that will make it harder to do business. "National will be pushing for the removal of restrictions on employers talking to staff during bargaining. (Cl 33) The Government's fiddling with this clause has made very little difference.

"Changes are needed to allow information to be withheld if release breaches the Securities Act. We also want fines for leaking confidential information, including an $80,000 fine if a union discloses information to an unauthorised party. (Cl 35)

"We will be watering down provisions covering multi-employer bargaining. - it should only happen if the employer and unions agree. (Clause 154)

"We also want Clause 67 forcing employers to deduct union fees deleted."


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