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National’s Workplace Policy Old Fashioned And Back

April 26, 2002

“The PSA is disappointed with National’s proposed amendments to the ERA which reject the modern industrial relations approach of a partnership between employer and union and instead revert to the ‘us and them’ attitudes which prevailed under the Employment Contracts Act” said PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“Fashioned on a ‘win/lose’ instead of a ‘win/win’ philosophy, the so called amendments should not be seen as moderate and set out clear difference between the main political parties. They will take us back not forward”.

“Calling National’s new policy ‘an amendment’ will not fool anyone – not even the Business Roundtable who have naturally come out strongly in favor of the policy which puts the power back in the hands of employers at the expense of workers. “

“The 90 day trial period for new employees goes further than the ECA in terms of undermining workers’ security of employment. It also fails to recognise that when things are not working there is a process to work it through. Reducing union access to workplaces, and allowing non-union members to be covered by collectives are measures aimed at undermining unions as legitimate stakeholders in the workplace.”

Richard Wagstaff said the Employment Contracts Act was not popular with New Zealanders and the workplace in New Zealand had improved dramatically under the Employment Relations Act.

[ends]

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