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Labour, Alliance MPs Urged To Support Vulnernable

Union Urges Labour And Alliance MPs To Vote To Support The Vulnerable

The Service & Food Workers Union, representing some of the most vulnerable and lowest paid workers in New Zealand, are urging Labour and Alliance MPs to support the Green Party amendment to the Employment Relations Bill.

All Labour and Alliance MPs, a number of who are former Service & Food Workers Union officials, have been asked by the union to support the Green Party amendment as a practical way of closing the gaps. Many workers who lose their jobs through the contracting process are Maori and Pacific Island women. And former union officials now in government, such as Phillip Field, Rick Barker and Mark Gosche, along with MPs associated with the union like Graham Kelly and Winnie Laban have large numbers of these contract workers in their electorates.

“Contracting out has a devastating effect on these families,” says Luci Highfield, Legal Officer for the Service & Food Workers Union. “Widespread poverty and acute levels of stress within families is caused by the complete lack of job security for workers and low wages and poor conditions. These are well known outcomes of the contracting cycle and competitive tendering. We urge Government MPs not to turn their backs on the situation of these workers when they have the opportunity to support the Green Party amendment.”

The Service & Food Workers Union does not accept that the issue is any more complicated than some other areas of the Employment Relations Bill, such as good faith obligations, multi-party bargaining, fixed term contracts, and dependent contractors.

“The Green Party SOP provides an indigenous solution to a widespread problem. The clause is narrowly focused on a particular group of vulnerable workers. The flood gates will not open,” Ms Highfield said.

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