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Business Confidence plummets as militant strike ac

Business Confidence plummets as militant strike action rises

29 April 2005

News this week that business confidence had fallen to its lowest level since the winter of discontent in 2000 should ring alarm bells with Labour about its union-focused industrial relations law.

The National Bank's monthly survey shows that a net 48% of businesses are pessimistic about the prospects for the business environment during the next 12 months. Only 7% of those surveyed expected things to get better.

The avalanche of industrial action that has plagued New Zealand in the past month is clearly beginning to have an effect on confidence. The problem for Labour is that it looks set to get worse.

Labour's amendments to the Employment Relations Act late last year have given the unions the extra muscle they have waited 15 years for. Now they intend to use it.

On Wednesday, Finsec announced that its members will begin rolling strikes if the current pay negotiations do not result in pay parity with Australia. On the same day, a paid advertising feature appeared in Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper promoting an international trade union website providing pay parity and wage rate comparisons.

Today, the EPMU strikes over the metals agreement in Auckland. At least 12 different companies will be hit by industrial action.

It is the beginning of a new era of rampant trade union militancy. Collective strike action, the likes of which we have not seen since the 1970s, is again rearing its ugly head. No one wonder business is worried.

But National has pledged to bring sanity back to industrial law.

National Party Employment Law Policy

On May 5 National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Wayne Mapp, will discuss National's Employment Law Policy at a breakfast in Auckland.

He will outline:

* National's plans for reform of employment relations legislation
* National's rewrite of the Holidays Act
* National's changes to the Health and Safety in Employment Act
* A return to a free market ACC environment for workplace injuries

For more information contact the EMA AdviceLine Phone: 09 367 0909, Fax: 09 367 0920, Email: adviceline@ema.co.nz.


Dr Wayne Mapp


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