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Giant Step Backwards

Giant Step Backwards

Thursday 4 Dec 2003
Richard Prebble
Press Releases -- Employment

ACT Leader Richard Prebble condemned the 59-page Employment Relations Law Reform Bill as a great step backwards towards the dark old days of compulsory unionism, multi-employer contracts, and trade union bosses.

"The ludicrous requirement that a successful tenderer must take over the employees of the unsuccessful contractor is nothing more than Margaret Wilson's slavery clause.

"The requirement that employers must deduct the union fees of all union members, the $10,000 fines for advising employees against joining a collective bargaining agreement, and the fines on an employer for just passing on the terms and conditions of the union agreement to other employees, mean that we are putting together de facto compulsory trade unionism. The Labour government is delivering huge power to trade union bosses with the clause that enables trade union officials to sign off collective agreements without a ratification vote.

"The massive fines on employers are part of this governments' bizarre world view - the penalties for criminals have been softened but every month the government comes up with yet another massive fine for law abiding New Zealanders whose life style they don't agree with.

"ACT, that led the successful fight against many of these measures when Labour first tried to introduce them in the Employment Relations Act of 2000, will lead the fight against these measures. Margaret Wilson may think that by introducing the Bill in December when most businesses are flat out there will be no reaction - she is once again mistaken.

"The real tragedy of this bill is not just that it will reduce productivity and make employers more reluctant to offer fellow New Zealanders a job, but this Bill does nothing to improve the working life of the average kiwi. The Bill is all about trade union power," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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