24 February 2004
Margaret Wilson Leaves Enduring
Legacy in Modern Labour Laws
“Margaret Wilson will be seen by history as a Minister who worked very hard to rebuild a modern employment law framework after the desolate years of the 1990s,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
“It may take some time for the free-market dinosaurs to acknowledge her achievements, but employer organisations which hysterically opposed the Employment Relations Bill and the Health and Safety in Employment Act amendments are already acknowledging that their fears were unjustified.”
For workers, the immediate benefits of her work have been obvious, Ross Wilson said. “Scrapping the Employment Contracts Act, improved leave entitlements, stronger health and safety protection, regular minimum wage increases and paid parental leave are just a few of the benefits workers have gained.
“But I hope the enduring legacy will be her vision of good faith workplace relationships based on mutual respect,” he said.
“Sadly, recent rhetoric from employer organisations suggests that they still hanker for the 1990’s.”
The CTU looked forward to working with the new Ministers of Labour Paul Swain and Ruth Dyson, both of whom were well respected, Ross Wilson said.