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Strike Days At Decade Low: ECA Working

The decade-low number of work stoppages in the March 1999 quarter shows the Employment Contracts Act is continuing to provide a constructive working environment, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford says.

Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday show there were four work stoppages in the March quarter - the lowest number recorded since 1989.

The March 1999 year results continued the downward trend in work stoppages.

"Compared to the destructive, strike-filled days of when the last Labour government was in power, far fewer employees are out of pocket because of union-led stoppages.

"In the March quarter, employees lost $444,000 in wages and salaries.

"Under Labour's last term, there were 905,960 working days lost and $100 million more lost in wages," Mr Bradford said.

"It is interesting that in the March year, 73 per cent of all employees involved in stoppages were in the union-dominated education sector.

"Under the ECA, industrial conflict has fallen to its lowest level since 1935. This is because the ECA provides employees and employers with a flexible environment.

"The power-hungry unions and the Labour-Alliance bloc refuse to acknowledge this because they think they know better than the employees they claim to represent," Mr Bradford said.

ENDS

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