September 1, 2005
Privatised ACC bad for workers
The National Party’s privatisation agenda will put accident compensation for hundreds of thousands of workers at risk, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
National secretary Andrew Little, who has members in some of the most dangerous workplaces in the country, said that a leaked Insurance Council letter showing that a National government would privatise ACC had sounded a warning bell through New Zealand workplaces.
“It’s a classic Business Roundtable approach,” he said.
“Privatised accident compensation would see private companies taking the profits, while New Zealand workers take the risks - and you’ve only got to look across the Tasman to see what those risks can be.”
In 2001, HIH Insurance went into liquidation, leaving thousands of Australian workers without any workplace accident cover.
“Let’s not forget that HIH was one of the insurance companies active in New Zealand during the brief period of ACC competition the last National government brought in,” Mr Little said.
“The only reason that New Zealand workers were not affected by the HIH collapse was that the incoming Labour Government had reversed the privatisation.”
Mr Little said that New Zealand had a comprehensive accident compensation system that was the envy of the world.
“Let’s not mess with success,” he said.