01 May 2002
Mayday 2002: Storm Clouds Ahead For New Zealand Workers?
“The outlook from Mayday 2002 is for employment relations to once again become a hot political issue between the major political parties,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
“Until the release of the National Party industrial relations policy there had been good reason to believe that employers wanted a co-operative approach to employment relations and economic growth strategies,” he said
Ross Wilson said that, although it was not been widely known, the CTU leadership had had very constructive engagement with business leaders and a consensus has been developing around the inclusive and constructive strategies needed to move New Zealand to a higher skill, higher value economy.
“The policies of the current Government have started to give workers the confidence again that economic growth strategies are not code language for more restructurings and redundancy,” he said.
“It is therefore puzzling that the National Party is signalling a wish to dive back into the barren “them and us” policies of the 1990’s.”
Ross Wilson said workers had enjoyed the changes in this term of Government which included fairer industrial law and ACC provisions and paid parental leave.
“If the National Party thinks union bashing is a vote getter they have made a serious strategic mistake,” he said.
“New Zealand workers are in no mood to return to those divisive policies”.