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The ERB Lacks Flexiblility

The National Association of Retail Grocers and Supermarkets of New Zealand (NARGON) is calling on the Government to amend the Employment Relations Bill (ERB) to scrap the union monopoly on collective agreements.

Tom Skinner, Employment Advisor for NARGON, says that as the bill is currently drafted employees can not have a collective agreement with their employer without belonging to a union.

"Under the current law, many of our members who are owner/operators of grocery stores and supermarkets have collective agreements with their staff that work extremely well."

"Under the proposals in the ERB, employees will effectively lose the choice of negotiating their own collective agreement without belonging to a union."

"You have to ask whether this Bill is about protecting the rights of employees or about protecting and promoting unions. Employees should have the right to join a union, but they should also have the right not to join and still get the benefit of a collective agreement with their employer."

"Unions should have nothing to fear in giving employees this choice. If unions are adding value to employees and are worth belonging to, then of course they will attract more members."

"The Bill as currently drafted takes away the freedom of choice and compels union membership for collective workplace agreements. This gives little credit to any existing collective arrangements between employees and employers as well as being contrary to the concept of good faith bargaining."


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