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ECA Must Stay - Luxton

"Milk will run down the drains again in the Waikato, and the business sector will be held to ransom, if Labour repeals the ECA," Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton warned a Waikato business audience today.

"Around the country, farmers and business people are adamant they do not want a return to a union stranglehold on industrial relations. The ECA is working very well for them and they are loath to see it repealed. Moves to dismantle the ECA shows just how out of touch Labour is with the productive sector," Mr Luxton said.

"Before the ECA was introduced New Zealand was too often paralysed by strike action which increased the costs to businesses, crippled our agricultural industries and destroyed jobs in rural communities."

"New Zealand cannot afford to have our vital export earnings held to ransom. Waikato businesses cannot afford to see their hard work undone just because the Chardonnay socialists have called another strike."

"Under the ECA New Zealand has enjoyed higher levels of employment and lower levels of industrial strife, than they did under the last Labour Government. Since December 1990 when National took office, employment has grown by over 18%. Over the last 12 months, 22,000 new jobs were created in the primary sector. In contrast in the last 5 years under Labour, registered unemployment increased by over 106,000."

Under the ECA, industrial conflict has also fallen to its lowest level since 1935. In the last 4 years under National, 199,000 days were lost through work stoppages. In contrast between 1986-1990 under Labour a massive 2.6 million working days were lost.

"Any return to the strikes and lockouts of the past would seriously damage the New Zealand economy. The ECA has been hugely beneficial to New Zealand. It has allowed more flexibility, encouraged modern workplace practices, boosted employment and incomes and contributed to the growth of food and fibre exports."

"Labour would rather push the union cause than look at the facts or listen to the people who create jobs on this country."


ends

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