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‘Good Faith’ is Nothing of the Sort

‘Good Faith’ is Nothing of the Sort

Tuesday 20th Feb 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Economy

ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff is urging the Government to take steps to ensure that the ‘good faith’ provisions of the Employment Relations Act are adhered to.

“The disruption caused by the veterinarian strike is a result of Labour Minister Margaret Wilson’s naïve, confused and absurd changes to employment law”, Gerry Eckhoff said.

“The major thrust of the Employment Relations Act was reliance on ‘good faith bargaining’. Last year, both employers and unions sat down ‘in good faith’ and established a workable code.

“Yet, a 14 per cent wage claim compared with inflation at four per cent, is not ‘good faith’, by any stretch of the imagination.

“Most farmers have survived the last decade on a tiny fraction of a veterinarian’s current wage. The vets’ outrageous demand shows callous indifference to the industry’s future.

“While farmers and meat workers languish in a state of helplessness, the Government monopoly controls all outcomes.

“Section 97 of the Employment Relations Act prevents management vets or outside vets being employed during a strike. This feature of the new law is a portent of future strife, and of great cost to agriculture.

“Section 97 allows a Labour monopoly. ACT has consistently opposed monopoly in labour relations as in commercial practise. ACT leader Hon Richard Prebble has proposed a simple law change to halt this catastrophe.

“ACT calls on all sectors of the meat processing industry to recognise that critical mass is vital for a successful industry, as massive inroads are being made by alternative land uses such as deer and dairy farming, and horticulture – especially in the deep south.

“Unfortunately, the vets and Margaret Wilson’s precious ERA have combined to put forward shallow self-interest ahead of New Zealand’s vital agriculture industry.

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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