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Time to dump harmful 1970s-style pay agreements

Todd McClay - Workplace Relations and Safety

16 October 2019

The Government should scrap any plans it has to implement so-called ‘fair pay’ agreements, which are nothing more than a 1970s-style straightjacket on the economy, National’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“The Government released a report from its working group in January and has been silent ever since. Presumably because it knows this policy will wreak havoc on our economy.

“It will force all workers in an industry to enter union negotiations if just 10 per cent of workers in the industry are in favour. That is compulsory unionism by stealth.

“These agreements will remove flexibility in our workplace and likely impose new and higher costs on businesses, harming our productivity and employment opportunities.

“What’s worse is that evidence shows these agreements won’t help the workers they are intended to benefit. Our employment relations will be sent back to the 1970s-style National Awards system, which failed to support workers or the economy.

“Business confidence is already at record lows, economic growth is plummeting, the Government is raking in a record amount of tax, and the number of Kiwis leaving New Zealand has doubled since last year.

“It’s clear the Government has realised that pushing ahead with these 1970s-style agreements will hurt its poll numbers. It’s time to back the business community and announce that FPAs are being abandoned once and for all.

“The last thing we need is this policy. The Government should just drop it.”


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