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ILO Convention Strengthens Collective Bargaining

ILO Convention Strengthens Collective Bargaining

New Zealand’s ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 98 will strengthen the rights of workers to negotiate collective employment agreements, the Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

The Labour Minister, Margaret Wilson, announced today that New Zealand has joined 152 other countries that have ratified the ILO convention on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining.

The move was made possible because the Employment Relations Act provides rights for employees to join unions and promotes the negotiation of collective employment agreements.

Ross Wilson said that while he welcomes the ratification, there is also room for improvement in the Act - which is now under review.

The CTU expects that the review, in line with Labour Party policy, will focus on promoting, rather than just permitting, collective bargaining.

“Even though we have a law based on good faith and the promotion of collective bargaining, only 15 percent of workers are covered by collective agreements,” Ross Wilson said.

The ERA needs to be strengthened to increase the level of protection for workers’ pay and conditions, he said.

“What we need to do is ensure that the new law can actually deliver on its promises.”

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