Brash Denies Right to Secure Employment
26 January 2005
National Party leader Don Brash has revealed that he is more interested in attacking those on low incomes than in looking at opportunities to move people into decent, secure work, Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
Don Brash focussed on tightening the welfare system in his annual speech to the Orewa Rotary Club last night.
Mr Brash’s policy of a 90-day trial period for new employees would be open to abuse by employers and fail to protect the rights of workers to secure employment, Carol Beaumont said.
The strong economy and low levels of unemployment were an opportunity to focus on improving work.
“There are still too many low wage, low quality jobs that fail to provide an adequate standard of living for workers.
“The real answers to this lie in establishing clear industry standards, recognising the role of unions and collective bargaining and better matching the structure of work to the needs of workers.”
It was unrealistic to force single parents into jobs when there was a lack of quality, affordable childcare, Carol Beaumont said.
“Changes to work organisation to better meet the needs of those with caring responsibilities would make a significant difference to many of these parents.”
Very few people wanted to exist on the low income provided by benefits, she said. “The challenge is to provide decent work as the alternative.”