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Employees being disenfranchised by employment bill

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

Employees being disenfranchised by employment bill

The large majority of employees have not been consulted over the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"All employees will be directly affected by the bill but 82 per cent of them have had no opportunity to say what they think of it," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"82 per cent of employees do not belong to a union and have therefore not been represented either in prior consultation over the content of the bill or in front of the Select Committee hearings.

"The Government has made no attempt to inform employees how it will affect them, other than through a union.

"They are being disenfranchised.

"Furthermore 88 per cent of employees in private sector organisations don't belong to a union.

"The bill will, amongst other things, provide for employers to discriminate against their non-union member staff by giving their union staff better pay and conditions.

"This will coerce employees to join a union contrary to the ILO principle of 'freedom of association' which says employees should not be obliged to join a union or discriminated against if they don't.

"Last week EMA's member unanimously rejected the ERLRB asking that it be referred for genuine good faith tri-partite consultation between Government, employers, non-union employees and unions, in accordance with the spirit of being a member of the ILO."

ENDS

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