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Industrial Relations Chickens Coming Home To Roost

The country's starting to pay the price as unions flex their muscle under the Government's Employment Relations Act, National's Industrial Relations spokesperson, Lockwood Smith said today.

"In just one week, we've had the Council of Trade Unions threatening Sandfords with union solidarity action if they don't come up with a better pay offer to end a seven-week strike.

"We've had the Service and Food Workers Union inciting its members at Sky City Casino to protest over pay, and has even tried to encourage people not to vote for Sky City in the New Zealand Tourism Award finals.

"We've had the PSA's Radio New Zealand staff involved in strike action, claiming they're not happy with the quality of management.

"And if that's not enough, we've had the National Distribution Union taking staff out at the country's largest fibreboard factory near Rangiora, and blocking access to trucks carting logs and chips.

"This sort of action has major implications for this country's economy. We had eight strikes in the most recent quarter, which was an increase on the December quarter, and we're now seeing several strikes a week.

"The average ordinary time weekly wage is up 4 percent compared with just a year ago, yet productivity hasn't increased in line with that figure. This may well be one of the factors that prevents the Reserve Bank Governor from lowering interest rates next week.

"It's not hard to see that the Government's employment relations chickens are starting to come home to roost," Dr Smith said.

Ends




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