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Nats/Act will take your holidays and sack you

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"National and Act will take away the rights to public and annual holidays and make it easier to sack workers if they are elected, says Labour MP Mark Gosche.

"Both right-wing parties want holidays to be tradeable for cash. They also want a six-month probationary period where new workers can be sacked for no good reason.

"To make it worse both National and Act would allow employers to sack people without giving them warnings, without a chance to explain their actions and without a chance to improve their performance. Workers in New Zealand can expect to be treated no better than cattle if the concept of natural justice is removed from industrial law as National and Act plan to do.

"Jenny Shipley, Richard Prebble, Max Bradford and Patricia Schnauer have all outlined these intentions. Act candidates have gone further, saying the Employment Contracts Act should be done away with without replacement, so workers would have no rights other than those under common law.

"When we celebrate Labour Day we must remember that the current Government is not satisfied with the damage done to many workers and their families under the ECA. They will make it far worse if they get the chance.

"Labour will get rid of the ECA and replace it with a fair law. We will guarantee basic employment rights under a minimum code that will safeguard holidays for everyone - not just the strong. We will protect vulnerable workers, many of whom have lost wages, conditions and jobs by the insidious contracting-out of work to multi-national companies that have exploited the ECA to the hilt."

Mark Gosche was addressing a meeting in Wellington of contract cleaning workers who set up a photographic exhibition detailing the destruction of their employment conditions under the ECA.

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