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Jobs and democracy at stake with fire-at-will bill

9 December 2008

Jobs and democracy at stake with fire-at-will bill: Greens

National's bid to push its 90-day bill through under urgency this week is a disgraceful attack on both workers' rights and on democracy.

Green Party Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford says legislation of this significance should go through the full select committee process.

While the select committee heard submissions on a similar bill in 2006, the new legislation is not the same.

"The introduction of probationary periods for workers in their first 90 days on the job in workplaces of under 20 will have a massive impact on many employees and deserves the full scrutiny of Parliament.

"An accelerated select committee process where at least some submissions could be heard would be better than rushing the bill through by the end of this week."

Ms Bradford calls on the Maori Party to stick to its earlier opposition to the 90-day probationary period when Hone Harawira said: "The risks we would be taking in letting this particular rocket fly are simply too great to be acceptable..."

"After all Maori workers are among those most affected by unemployment and job mobility," Ms Bradford says.

"I also hope that the Maori party will not only oppose the bill itself, but also vote against urgency.

"The proposed legislation is likely to be just the first of a series of bitter attacks on the rights and wellbeing of ordinary workers.

"The Green Party will be doing everything we can to expose and oppose National's real agenda on industrial relations."


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