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Labour Shows True Anti-Business Colours

4 July 2002

Labour's pretence at being business-friendly has been wiped out today with the release of its Employment Relations Policy, says National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Simon Power.

"Under the label of so-called "fine tuning", it's planning to enact the contentious sale of business and contracting out provisions that were originally taken out of the Employment Relations Act. This will be particularly crippling for small business.

"It also talks of pay equity legislation and developing "a programme to promote equal pay for work of equal value". While National's got no problems with equal pay for equal work, it's fundamentally opposed to bureaucrats deciding that builders do the same work as cafeteria workers, and should therefore be paid the same.

"The proposed review of the ERA in order to enable ratification of ILO conventions 87 and 98 is inflammatory because these conventions are generally interpreted by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the ILO as allowing general strikes on social and economic grounds.

"New Zealand businesses have every reason to be worried.

"National's workplace policy, on the other hand, is fair to both employers and workers. It delivers a straightforward industrial relations plan that addresses the constraints of the current regime while, at the same time, making workplaces more flexible.

"We not only want to create better workplaces, but we want to make it easier for jobseekers to gain employment," says Mr Power.


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