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A more balanced approach to law

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Labour Leader Helen Clark today welcomed Labour's employment relations policy as a critical component in Labour's plans to build a modern and prosperous economy.

"The watchword of this policy is balance. Labour believes that more balanced industrial relations legislation will enhance the role that employees play in boosting New Zealand's economic performance and ensuring that the gains are shared by all.

"The Employment Contracts Act is backward-looking and divisive. It has failed to produce the substantial wage gains, greater job security, and permamently low unemployment that its promoters claimed it would.

"Labour wants the opposite of the low-wage, low-skill and low-productivity economy that is National's legacy.

"We believe working people and their representatives must be part of rebuilding this country and must share in its prosperity. That is why Labour wants to encourage the collective organisation of workers and to foster collective bargaining.

"This country needs a fresh start. To achieve that Labour will change the economic and social direction in which nine years of National-led government has taken New Zealand.

"Replacing the Employment Contracts Act with a fairer, more inclusive law is an important step in making that change of direction.

"I am confident that this policy ensures that the New Zealand values of opportunity, security and fair play can be advanced through new industrial relations law," Helen Clark said

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