Priorities For Any Coalition Agreement
27 May 2002
Alliance Leader Signals Contracting Out And Four Weeks Annual Leave As Priorities For Any Coalition Agreement
Alliance Leader Laila Harré used a speech to the Service Workers Union today to announce key aspects of the Alliance’s industrial relations policy for the 2002 election that the Alliance wants included in any coalition agreement.
Ms Harré highlighted two issues of major significance for service workers in her speech: minimum entitlements and the contracting out or transfer of undertakings.
Speaking in favour of legislation to protect workers if the business they work for is sold, or their work contracted out, Ms Harré said that the Government had spent the last two years looking at the issue of contracting out and that it was now “time to act”.
“Today I want to give you an undertaking that the Alliance will make this legislation a priority if we are back in government. And you can see from our success with paid parental leave and the minimum wage that when we make something a priority we mean it.”
Laila Harré said the Alliance also wanted any coalition agreement with Labour to include the Alliance’s policy of increasing minimum leave entitlements from three weeks to four.
Ms Harré also used the speech to underline the importance to working people of having the Alliance represented in the next government.
“Unless some of Labour’s working class voters switch to the Alliance, it is possible that there will not be a coalition government, but a majority Labour government. Right now you might think that’s a good idea because the Alliance has been in a mess, New Zealand First screwed up last time, and Labour and the Greens have had a big falling out too. But I believe it is very important for working people that the Alliance stays in Government.
“If you don’t put the Alliance back into government with Labour then who will be there to negotiate for protection for workers when their business is sold or contracted out, a fourth weeks annual leave, higher minimum wages, more paid parental leave, free health and education?”
Ms Harré said that the Alliance stood on its record of achievements for working people within Government.
“I am enormously proud of the Alliance’s achievements. I urge you not to punish us for the confusion created by Jim Anderton’s actions, but instead to reward us for staying true to our cause…We built the Alliance to oppose inequality and injustice and as long as inequality and injustice remain, we will too.”