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Worst fears confirmed for vulnerable workers

Darien Fenton
Labour Spokesperson

30 October 2012

Worst fears confirmed for vulnerable workers

Tens of thousands of vulnerable workers could see their wages and conditions eroded even further thanks to the Government’s decision to remove legislative protections from them, says Darien Fenton.

“The Minister of Labour’s confirmation of changes to part 6a of the Employment Relations Act is a kick in the teeth for low income workers who rely on statutory protections for a semblance of fairness.”

Part 6a gives thousands of workers the right to retain their jobs and to be transferred to a new contractor on the same terms of employment when a business is sold or a contract re-tendered.

"Every commercial cleaner and every kitchen worker employed in schools, commercial buildings, rest homes and other businesses whose work is exposed to repetitive competitive tendering will be left at the whim of employers.

“All those workers have just been told that the Government thinks a return to a downward spiral of cuts to wages, hours and jobs is an acceptable way of doing business and treating workers. The changes are mean-spirited and petty.
“This isn't just about cuts to wages and hours and the impact that has on workers and their families. The inevitable outcome will be reductions in safe and clean facilities for our kids, for other workers and older people.

“The Government has caved into pressure from bit players in the service sector. It has failed vulnerable low income workers and the communities they serve once again,” says Darien Fenton.

ENDS

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