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New law stands for healthy employment relations

PSA Press Release

April 8, 2004

New law stands for healthy employment relations

The Employment Relations Law Reform Bill will move New Zealand further along the track to achieving healthy employment relations that are fair, improve the quality of all New Zealanders’ lives, and support productive and innovative growth, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

Speaking after the PSA appeared before the parliamentary Transport and Industrial Relations select committee, Richard Wagstaff said the bill aimed to tighten the provisions of the Employment Relations Act – an Act that, for New Zealand, heralded a period of steady growth, low unemployment, and a strong economy.

“Contrary to the scaremongering engendered by some of the business community, the new law will not have a negative effect on our economy, and is certainly not about compulsory unionism. What it does do is tighten up parts of the Employment Relations Act which have continued to allow some employers to behave in bad faith by fighting collective bargaining and keeping pay low.

“The bill also offers more protection for some of our more vulnerable workers and in no way alters the right of workers to join or not join a union.”

Richard Wagstaff said any call for a return to the 1990s and the Employment Contracts Act should be vigorously resisted as that would result in worse treatment for many employees in the workplace, the loss of skilled people, and the decline of New Zealand’s international competitiveness.


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