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Union dispute highlights anti-business bias

Max Bradford National Associate Finance Spokesperson

7 February 2001

Union dispute highlights anti-business bias

National's Associate Finance spokesperson Max Bradford today said that the Government is showing its true anti-business colours by allowing Associate Labour Minister Laila Harre to turn up at the picket line in Nelson.

"It has been clear for a considerable time that the Government is not willing to find a solution to what amounts to destructive union tactics on the part of the Waterfront Workers Union.

"The Government's failure to act is in spite of the fact that Mainland Stevedoring and Carter Holt Harvey are acting legally.

"The only conclusion one can draw is that the Government is not prepared to apply the principles of its own industrial relations legislation and that its inherent anti-business bias is showing through.

"The Waterfront Workers' industrial action is in addition to the vets' strike which has the potential to cause hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to one of our major exporting industries. The Government's failure to act on this further reinforces its anti-business bias.

"At the time the industrial relations legislation was progressing through the House, many commentators said that the Employment Relations Act would not resolve industrial disputes peacefully but rather generate more industrial action of the type seen in the 1960s and 1970s.

"This prediction is proving to be true," Mr Bradford said.


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