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Union welcomes Green’s ERB Paper

Union welcomes Green’s ERB Paper on contracting-out

The Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU) welcomes the Green Party’s announcement today of a Supplementary Order Paper containing an amendment to the Employment Relations Bill (ERB) that will provide protection for the jobs, pay and conditions for workers in situations of contracting out.

“The Green Party has been listening to the concerns of vulnerable workers throughout the debate around the ERB,” says Darien Fenton, SFWU National Secretary. “Clearly, they think that the continual loss of job security and the erosion of wages and conditions through the competitive tendering process used in contracting out is unacceptable. We regret that Labour and Alliance have not been similarly persuaded that a clause like this should go in the ERB.”

The Green Party clause addresses issues faced by cleaners, catering workers, orderlies, security guards and laundry workers by requiring any new contract company to employ the existing workers on their existing terms and conditions of employment. The clause only applies where the service continues to be performed on or around the same premises, so does not cover off-site contracting.

“Many of the workers covered by the Green’s SOP are Maori and Pacific Island women working in low paid jobs with virtually no job security,” says Ms Fenton. “Supporting the Green SOP is a practical way the government can “close the gaps”, by ensuring that these workers are not continually facing unemployment or cuts to pay and conditions.

“We hope that the government will listen carefully to the Greens during the ERB debate this week. We urge them to find the courage to support the Green clause, to help bring an early end the exploitation of thousands of workers caught up in endless rounds of competitive tendering and contracting out,” Ms Fenton said.

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