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"It's Started"

"It's Started"

Tuesday 10th Oct 2000 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Other

Just a week after the introduction of the Employment Relations Act, unions are already disrupting workplaces and intimidating employers, ACT Employment spokesman Muriel Newman said today.

“Everything we thought would happen, is happening. The rot has started,” she said.

Dr Newman said she has heard from three employers who are “too terrified” to talk publicly about their recent experiences with union “heavies.” “One employer I spoke to had to stand around twiddling his thumbs while union officials had three hour-long meetings with his staff in the last week. He is now concerned he may incur penalties for failing to meet production deadlines,” Dr Newman said.

“Another employer, operating to tight margins with staff on a collective contract, was faced with demands for double-time wage increases instead of time and a half. He was told if he did not come to the party, the staff would be called out on strike.

“The classic however, has to be the union official who walked into an Auckland factory, unannounced, with no identification, ordered the machines to be turned off, called the staff to a stop work meeting and told them how he was going to ‘do’ the employer – a week before the ERA came into force,” Dr Newman said.

She said she had agreed to keep the name of the employers confidential. “They are just too afraid to speak out in case of further retaliation.”

Dr Newman said these examples were just the tip of the iceberg.

“More and more employers are going to get done over by heavy-handed unions ,” she said.

Dr Newman said she wanted to hear from any employer who was concerned about falling victim to union muscle.

“I am not prepared to put up with union abuse,” Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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