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ERA brings industrial action and dissatisfaction

Simon Power National Labour and Industrial Relations Spokesperson

24 January 2002

ERA brings more industrial action and dissatisfaction

Today's Department of Labour work stoppage figures confirm businesses worst fears of increased industrial unrest under the Employment Relations Act, says National's Labour and Industrial Relations spokesperson Simon Power.

"New Zealand workplaces endured 19 strikes - the highest number of any quarter in five years - in the quarter to September 2001 and more than double the number of the previous quarter.

"This continues the trend of more strikes since the inception of the ERA. The most alarming aspect is the estimated $3 million loss of wages in the quarter, which was more than the loss over 12 months in 2000.

"In October Minister of Labour, Margaret Wilson said the ERA was 'working well and building more productive workplaces'. Today's figures confirm this is clearly not the case.

"Today's NZEIR ERA survey also shows Labour's draconian labour legislation is making it increasingly difficult to run successful businesses. One third of businesses surveyed said the ERA had a negative effect on them and a measly 5 percent had positive things to say about the Act.

"Employers are complaining of increased compliance costs, more time spent negotiating agreements and increased difficulty in hiring and firing staff," Mr Power said.


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