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Another step backwards from National

6 May 2005

Another step backwards from National

Labour Minister Paul Swain says the National Party's employment relations' policy is simply the old Employment Contracts Act (ECA) in drag.

"National has tried to dress up their failed policy of the 1990s by talking about flexibility and fairness."

"What they really want, but know they can't sell, is a return to the ECA. This policy announcement is similar to their recent State-owned assets policy, where they want to sell them but can't bring themselves to say it.

"National's confusion and double-speak is summed up by the idea of merging the ECA with the Employment Relations Act (ERA). This is nonsense.

"The philosophies of the two Acts are totally different. Labour had to repeal the ECA in order to provide a fairer and more-balanced employment relations framework," Mr Swain said.

"Even Don Brash, who says the ERA is working well, knows this."

"National is still lamenting the fact New Zealand wages and conditions are lower than Australia yet they have opposed every initiative from this government to improve New Zealanders' pay and conditions.

"National's employment relations policy is a confusing mix of musings and wonderings from a spokesperson who clearly doesn’t realise that the industrial relations climate has changed for the better," Mr Swain said.


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