Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


We Can Learn From Our Past

Meat Union Aotearoa

JULY 2005

We Can Learn From Our Past

27 October 1990

National was elected the Government and the EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS ACT became Law 15 May 1991. The National Meat Workers Award expired 14 May 1991. This allowed meat companies to “slash & burn” wages and allowances. Many companies wrote their own contracts and told workers to sign, or no job!

The passing of the Employment Contacts Act 1991 encouraged ‘greed’ and many employers “hard balled” their employees & their families by

. Reducing hourly rates & bonus payments

. Eliminating rate and half plus double time

. Increasing the 40 hour week to 45 hours


. Eliminating shift allowances

. Reducing chain mannings

. Loss of extra holidays for shift workers, and many other conditions undermined

In 1996 Riverlands Eltham (Itoham Foods) demanded a 42% increase in cattle tally with a 25% wage cut.

In 1993 these same Eltham meat workers took wage cuts and increased the cattle tally by 7.8%. Taylor Preston Ltd & Wallace Meats also slashed wages. We took a “harsh & Oppressive” Court Case against W. Tuckers and won a backpay claim

ELTHAM Lockout

1995 Contract Take it or leave it contract
Cattle per day 180 256
Number of workers 53 53
Pay per hour $20 $15

National’s workplace Law Policy

X EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS ACT (Mk II) Repairing the “serious deficiencies” of the Holidays Act 2003, particularly in relation to payment for public holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave, which should not include overtime and production bonuses. Reverting to “ordinary pay - $10 per hour” from “relevant daily pay”. Abolition of “relevant daily pay”.

X Workers will lose the 4th week holiday in 2007. Workers will again need to produce a medical certificate after their first day sick.

X Removal of paid work meeting entitlement for union members - if unions want meetings, these should be held outside work time

X Removal of the automatic right of union access to workplaces

X Deduction of union fees by the employer - only if he wants to

X National will repeal each and every provision of the 2004 Employment Relations Act amendments.

X Abolition of paid employment relations education leave and also H & S paid education leave. They intend to reduce other Minimum employment conditions.

Labour, Green & Progressive have made it clear that they intend to continue to improve workplace law for all working New Zealanders.

Four weeks annual leave - 1 April 2007

Minimum wage up 35.7%

Stronger workplace health &safety laws

Fairer workplace employment laws


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news