April 29, 2004 Media Release
Union holds out hand to employers
New Zealand’s largest union is holding out a hand to employers who are ready to move past rhetoric and deal with the real issues facing New Zealand.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that stunts like that in which the EMA Northern today “rejected” the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill were just recycled 1970s rhetoric.
“Real business isn’t talking like the EMA,” Mr Little said.
“It’s time the EMA and its small band of followers got out of the 1970s and accepted the realities of today. We are a small country in an aggressively globalising economy. Our survival depends on collaborative and co-operative strategies, not the winner-takes-all approach of yesterday.
“We stand ready to work on the real business environment issues, like productivity, energy and infrastructure.”
Mr Little said that productivity couldn’t be improved by battering the workforce into submission.
“You increase productivity through remuneration, a good working environment, skills development and work/life balance,” he said.
“I’m ready to have that conversation with any employer, any time,” Mr Little said.