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Strike action: Labour gets its just desserts

Wayne Mapp
National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

15 April 2005

Strike action: Labour gets its just desserts

National’s Industrial Relations spokesman Wayne Mapp says yesterday’s wildcat strike action by members of the EPMU marks a return to the dark old days of militant unionism and should be a wake up call for the country in election year.

Members of the EPMU’s Metals collective contract, which covers more than 2000 employees from 200 Auckland manufacturing workplaces, did not return to work yesterday after stop-work meetings where they voted to strike.

Under the new Employment Relations Law Reform Act, unions have even more power to group together all employers in the same industry in a same Multi-Employer Collective Agreement and will have to pay the same pay rates.

Dr Mapp says MECAs are dangerous for business and for employees – many of whom will get tied into disputes they have no wish to be part of.

“Labour and their union mates should learn that one size doesn’t fit all. It’s time to dump the collective, dump the union and dump Labour.”

Since Labour’s amendments came into law, businesses that have been strike-free for decades, like Colgate-Palmolive and ANZ-National Bank, have become the victims of industrial action.

“National predicted this kind of widespread union action would result from Labour’s new legislation, which gives unions preferential treatment. National will remove that preference and bring sanity back to industrial law,” says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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