26 July 2005
Mayors Warned Job Plan at Risk
Economic and social development initiatives such as the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs would be put at risk by a National government, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
Speaking at the taskforce’s AGM in Christchurch, Ross Wilson said the CTU would like to continue its partnership with the mayors to lift investment in people so that they have secure long-term employment and can work in high-performance workplaces.
“I say ‘would like to’ because it appears that the General Election will present New Zealanders with quite stark policy choices on the economic and social development initiatives we have been engaged in,” he told the AGM.
National’s plan to reinstate an Employment Contracts Act would again encourage employers to focus on reducing wage costs instead of building value and skill.
“This will inevitably accelerate the departure of more skilled workers to Australia and other countries as workers seek better pay for their skills,” Ross Wilson said.
”Employers will also be permitted to pressure workers to trade away their fourth week of annual leave. In my view this is more likely to push them across the Tasman where all workers have enjoyed a minimum of four weeks annual leave for more than a decade.”
A consensus between government, business and unions was needed for economic development, Ross Wilson said. “We need that consensus if we are to survive in the global economy.”