May 5, 2004
Keep the court, says union
New Zealand’s largest union says that it will vigorously oppose any move to abolish the Employment Court.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that the court performed a vital function for New Zealand’s 1.9 million-strong workforce.
The Northern Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has called for the court to be scrapped, saying that appeals of Employment Relations Authority decisions should go directly to the High Court.
Mr Little said that the relationship between employees and their employers was a special one which went well beyond the usual scope of contract law.
“It is important that we have a court where the judges understand the complexities of that relationship and are experienced at weighing up the conflicting rights and responsibilities,” he said.
Mr Little said this was clearly demonstrated in the recent union case against Air New Zealand’s plans to introduce random drugs testing of its workforce.