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Employment Relations Bill rarks employers

Media Release 30 March 2000

Employment Relations Bill rarks employers

Employers have been turning up in their droves to briefing meetings of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern held throughout Auckland and the upper North island over the past two weeks to discuss the implications of the Employment Relations Bill.

Speaking today at the end of the series of 10 briefings called at short notice, EMA’s Employment Relations Manager Peter Tritt said over 800 representatives attended, which was more than double the number at the last round of briefings held in January to discuss the Government's ACC changes.

“Perhaps this is a sign of the level of opposition the Government can expect to this Bill,” said Mr Tritt.

"The mood of members ranged from anger and sheer disbelief, to a fatalistic acceptance that Government and its union supporters would have their way.

“Some said they thought they would simply have to adapt to the new environment as best they could and accept that the cost of doing business would be higher.

"A common thread to employers' concerns was that the Bill's vision of workplaces was a 'one size fits all' prescription, with a 1970’s gait out of step with the fast response and dynamic work practices necessary for today's economy."

“Also common was the belief that, as with the ACC changes, the Government would not listen to what business had to say about the practicalities of the Bill and would push it through regardless of the consequences."

Mr Tritt said that over the coming 33 days, leading up to the May 3rd deadline for submissions, EMA would be highlighting a different major concern about the Bill on a daily basis.

"The Bill has many serious implications for basic human rights, like freedom of speech, freedom from discrimination and freedom of association. When the public becomes aware of these, it will realise that this is not simply a case of the employers saying the sky is falling."

For further comment contact:

Peter Tritt
Phone Business (09) 367 0921
Home (09) 379 8977
Mobile (025) 796 807

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