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Govt banks on short memories in charm offensive

Roger Sowry MP

National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

16 April 2004

Govt banks on short memories in charm offensive

National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman Roger Sowry says the Labour Government's business charm offensive smacks of hypocrisy.

"This is a Government that has demonised employers and demonstrated week after week that it is not prepared to listen to business concerns over the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill.

"Paul Swain's impersonation of a snake oil salesman will fool no-one," says Mr Sowry, commenting on a speech by the Government's Labour Minister today.

"All wage and salary earners will eventually pay the price for the Government's pro-union, anti-business agenda.

"Small businesses, which are the powerhouse of our economy, simply won't be able to afford wage increases when they're already being forced to provide an extra week's leave, on top of paying double-time-and-a-half on public holidays.

"Businesses, both large and small, were hurt badly over the Easter weekend by the new Holidays Act, but that damage is nothing compared to the suffering after the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill has been passed.

"This back-to-the-future legislation is a giant leap back into the 70s. It is the biggest union win under this Government. All the other concessions given to them, including the ERA, the Holidays Act and the OSH legislation, pale by comparison. It is a return to de facto compulsory unionism.

"As the economy slows in the coming months, rather than encouraging entrepreneurs and giving businesses a hand up, the Government will be saddling them with the most draconian legislation they have seen in twenty years," says Mr Sowry.


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