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Death By 1,000 Cuts - Labour Panders to Unions

Death By 1,000 Cuts - Labour Panders to Unions

The Labour Cabinet has completely succumbed to union bosses' demands to kill New Zealand's flexible labour market, ACT New Zealand Business Development Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today in a speech on the North Shore.

"Sources have told me that, August 11, Cabinet approved changes to the Employment Relations Act which will take this country back to the dark old days of union control, national awards, compulsory unionism, multi-employer contracts, and a requirement for employers to maintain pay and conditions or pay redundancy when a business is sold, Miss Coddington said.

"Only three Ministers balked at these changes - Jim Anderton, Paul Swain, and John Tamihere - the three responsible for economic growth. Things have come to a pretty pass when our liberty rests with Jim Anderton.

"Proposed changes include re-defining `unjustified dismissal' to mean `unfair'. So even if legal procedures are followed, if an employee is already down on their luck the dismissal is `unfair', so therefore `unjustified'.

"A new clause will see union dues deducted from all employees, whether union members or not, if their bosses and unions agree. Compulsory arbitration will be included; plus national awards meaning nationwide disruption like Cook Strait ferry strikes every school holidays.

Miss Coddington also condemned, what she dubs, the `Margaret Wilson Slavery Clause', which would force anyone taking over a new business or contract to keep employees on at the same pay rates and conditions, or pay out massive redundancies.

"Why would any firm want to take over another firm when its hands are tied by government fiat?

"This is `death by 1,000 cuts'. Kicking in on top of changes to the Holidays Act, Matt Robson's Four Weeks Annual Leave Bill, and the new OSH laws, the proposed ERA changes make further mockery of Labour's stated aim to get back to the top half of the OECD," Miss Coddington said.

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