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State-sponsored unionism alive and well

Dr Wayne Mapp

National Industrial Relations Spokesman

23 September 2004

State-sponsored unionism alive and well

Special lump-sum payments to union members show that state-sponsored unionism is alive and well under the Labour Government, says National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

Answers from written questions to the Minister of State Services show that between March and September this year, four collective settlements have included lump-sum payments to members of the PSA.

"These payments are taxpayer funded incentives to join unions. That's not what New Zealanders pay tax for," says Dr Mapp.

Payments were made to members of the union employed by the Ministry of Social Development, the Inland Revenue, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice.

This follows payments of more than $5 million paid to PSA members last year.

Dr Mapp says 2004 has been a great year for unions.

"With Labour's proposed bargaining fee, the 1.7 million New Zealanders who have chosen not to belong to a union may now have to pay union fees anyway.

"And the passing of the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill will see employers jumping through all kinds of hoops to avoid upsetting the unions.

"This marks a return to the bad old days of strikes, compulsion and multi-employer collective agreements. All of which will reduce the freedom of both workers and employers and make doing business in New Zealand a lot harder.

"This kind of cavalier attitude to taxpayer money and anti-business legislation shows that Labour will do anything to bolster union membership and keep their mates onside as we move into election mode," says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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