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Harré Welcomes CTU Endorsement

12 June 2002

Alliance leader Laila Harré has welcomed the Council of Trade Union’s (CTU) announcement that it wants a strong centre-left government returned to power in this year’s election.

The CTU is delivering a leaflet to some 120,000 workers encouraging them to look ahead when deciding who to vote for.

“New Zealand needs an even greater investment in health, education, housing and better rights for workers in the areas of holidays and job security,” the leaflet says.

It also presents a “report card” on the Labour-Alliance Government, and outlines the alternative if a centre-left government is not re-elected.

Laila Harré said the CTU represents a huge number of New Zealand workers.

“Their endorsement of a left wing agenda is crucial if we hope to see a continued improvement to the pay, conditions and living standards of those on the factory floor.”

This includes things like extending paid parental leave to more working women and increasing it to 14 weeks; four weeks annual holiday; improving protections for employees when a business is sold or work is contracted out; and a decent minimum wage.

“These are all issues that the Alliance takes credit for progressing in government, and issues that we will be at the forefront of our election campaign.”

Laila Harré said the CTU’s endorsement was an acknowledgement that if Labour governed alone it would be less likely to make these issues a priority.

“A Labour majority government voted in by National voters is simply not going to prioritise issues that are in any way controversial or unpopular with its constituents.

“New Zealand employers have come a long way in the last three years, and many now realise that minimum wage increases and the introduction of paid parental leave will actually work in their favour when it comes to attracting and retaining skilled staff.

“But without the Alliance there to remind them of this fact and put their concerns into perspective I’m afraid that the progress we have made in implementing progressive workplaces policies may fall into the “too hard” basket.”

Ends

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