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Platitudes don’t cut it in forestry review

Platitudes don’t cut it in forestry review

The status of forestry workers needs to be raised considerably if we are to create a workplace environment where they can look after their safety, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

“The independent group looking at forestry safety has raised many good points in its discussion document today.

“However to make any headway we need to see beyond the platitudes coming from other quarters about everyone showing leadership.

“This is tough and dangerous work being carried out in isolated workplaces in an industry dominated by small businesses. The forestry workers themselves barely feature in decisions that affect them directly.

“Good regulation is required to make sure pay and conditions properly reflect the risk the workers are put under and the value generated by their work.

“Asinine calls for added leadership at all levels and claims by Minister of Labour Simon Bridges that the industry must own the problem are just more patronising statements to deflect attention from the fact that our workplace regulation and protection of workers’ rights is so weak it is ineffective.

“Labour will ensure forestry workers have consistent minimum conditions and a strong voice at the table before decisions affecting them are made.”

ends

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