Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


ERA Tinkering is Anti-Business and Anti-Growth

20 August 2003

ERA Tinkering is Anti-Business and Anti-Growth

New Zealand Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr today warned that the government risks harming New Zealand's economy if it steamrolls ahead with reported changes to the Employment Relations Act (ERA).

"There have been consistent, worrying reports about changes to the ERA recently signed off by cabinet. They suggest the government plans to introduce:

- wider protection of terms and conditions when ownership of a business changes or activities are outsourced,

- further measures to promote multi-employer contracts,

- new personal grievance definitions,

- a return to a form of compulsory arbitration,

- measures to address so-called "free-riding' by non-union members,

- changes to the 30-day rule to promote union membership.

"Investors are very responsive to employment law. Bad legislation like this would affect productivity, growth and employment. New Zealand has already lost some of the competitive edge it achieved for labour market flexibility.

"Those who support such moves claim they "tilt the balance of employment law in favour of workers'. That is not true - these changes are not simply against the interests of employers but against the interests of workers and the unemployed as well. Workers stand to lose the most when the economy suffers, and the unemployed will find it harder to get into work. Only unions would benefit.

"There is no way that restrictions on business owners' rights to contract out or sell their businesses could ever be considered consistent with the government's growth targets.

"The main reason the ERA has not led to significant increases in collective bargaining or union membership is that this doesn't suit many firms and workers. There is no public policy justification for discriminating in favour of collective bargaining, or for rules designed to boost union membership.

"Union leaders have had months of backroom negotiating with politicians. It is now time for the real debate to be had in public. Business must speak out firmly. It is vital to maintain the strong unity that has developed between the organisations that want this country to grow. This will deliver the strongest message to the government that it is continuing to roll out initiatives that are inconsistent with its stated goals," Mr Kerr said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news