May 24, 2006
Workers won’t tolerate delaying KiwiSaver
Suggestions that the long-awaited KiwiSaver workplace superannuation scheme should be delayed because it could lead to industrial problems are nonsense, says the country’s largest union.
Andrew Little, national secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union which has been a key player in pushing for universal workplace superannuation, said that workers had been waiting long enough and would be furious over any delays.
“Business New Zealand is reported to have told a parliamentary select committee this morning that the scheme should be delayed on the ground that ‘industrial conflict” might ensue if the super fund selected by the employer didn’t perform well,” he said.
“There’s an easy way to ensure that that doesn’t happen, and that’s to have your workers and their union involved in the process. All schemes involved in the KiwiSaver programme will have been through a vigorous vetting process to make sure that there are no fly-by-night operators, and workers are mature enough to take a long-term view of their investments, especially if they’re involved in selecting and managing the fund.”
Mr Little said that the union’s research showed that workplace superannuation was one of the biggest issues of concern to working people, and that the union would be campaigning for employer subsidies.