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Barker Suffers A Serious Case Of Tunnel Vision

Wayne Mapp
National Industrial Relations Spokesman

19 October 2004

Barker suffers a serious case of tunnel vision

Rick Barker is delusional if he thinks his Government's new employment relations legislation will increase choice for workers, says National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

"This legislation will enable union fees to be deducted from the wages of all workers - including the 1.7 million New Zealanders who have chosen not to belong to a union."

Dr Mapp says that is compulsory unionism by stealth.

But in a speech to the Service and Food Workers Union, the Labour Minister, a former member of the CTU executive and former National Secretary of the Service Workers' Union, said the Bill was about 'giving employees a genuine choice between individual and collective employment agreements'.

"New Zealanders have already made their choice, and almost 80% of them have rejected unionism," says Dr Mapp.

"The only way for unions to prosper is for Labour to do sweetheart deals and pass special laws for them. These deals ignore the huge volume of submissions made in strong opposition to the legislation.

"But when more than half of Labour MPs and the vast majority of Ministers are former union representatives, it's hardly surprising that they are so deep in the unions' pockets.

"And the fact that only two of them have ever actually operated their own business, and paid GST and ACC levies, goes a long way towards explaining their understanding of business.

"I suggest Mr Barker actually sits down and reads the legislation before he votes for it to become law this evening," says Dr Mapp.


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