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Attacks on Alliance policy inconsistent

Tue Oct 12 1999

Attacks on the Alliance collective bargaining policy by National and the Employers Federation are inconsistent, Alliance workplace relations spokesperson Laila Harré said.She said the Employers' claim that the Alliance doesn't mention more employment is bizarre.'The Alliance has spoken at seminars all over the country organised by the Employers Federation about our economic development policy which will create 80,000 more jobs than would otherwise be created. The Federation itself has made extensive comments about the policy. Suddenly, the Federation is suffering memory loss.'The National Party and the Employers Federation have carefully co-ordinated a campaign against the Labour Party's 'join the union, join the contract' policy. Now that there is a policy that doesn't require employees to join a union in order for them to benefit from an agreement's coverage, they are attacking it as well.'What National and its small group of covert supporters in the Federation's head office really mean is that they are opposed to the idea of employees joining together to negotiate collective agreements. That is a very strange position for a party that usually claims to support market solutions. Why are they opposed to workers using their market power?'Laila Harré said attacks on good faith bargaining requirements exposed the true agenda of the National Party and Employers Federation.'If they are opposed to good faith bargaining then they are in favour of bad faith tactics. That is a politically and morally unjustifiable position for anyone who claims to be acting in the best interests of New Zealanders.'They have badly misrepresented the Alliance policy by suggesting that good faith bargaining laws wouldn't apply equally to unions. In fact unions will be equally bound, for example, by being required to represent employers' offers fairly and by being required to deal in good faith with workers who are not members of the union,' Laila Harré said.

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