23 October 2003
ERA is Failing Families Trapped in Poverty
The Employment Relations Act is not delivering to thousands of workers and their families who are stuck in poverty and who are not sharing in the economic growth of the last few years, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
Speaking at the CTU Biennial Conference in Wellington, Ross Wilson said the ERA is failing in its objective of promoting collective bargaining, which would strengthen the hand of low-paid workers.
The Act is being reviewed by the Government, and the CTU has argued strongly for amendments.
Some employers are deliberately undermining collective bargaining, Ross Wilson said, and amendments to the Act are needed to address their bad faith behaviour.
“They actively induce workers not to join unions by promising them the benefits of union deals anyway, and go through the motions of bargaining without any intention of reaching a collective agreement.”
Such employers are stuck in the Employment Contracts Act mentality of the 1990s.
“They are the employers who think that slashing wages and attacking unions is the key to business success,” Ross Wilson said. “It is this sort of attitude which is holding back our productivity and economic growth. “