One law for all, Dr Mapp
Plans by National MP Wayne Mapp
to make his no-rights-for-new-workers bill more palatable by
confining it to small workplaces and introducing a code of
conduct will not prevent exploitation of vulnerable workers,
says the union leading the
Work Rights, Our Right! campaign.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that it was outrageous to suggest that people working in smaller workplaces should have fewer rights than those working in big companies.
“One law for all is something the National Party is fond of saying, but doesn’t seem to think it applies to workers’ rights,” he said, “But why should people lose basic rights of fairness and dignity because they’ve moved to a smaller employer?”
Mr Little said that introducing a code of conduct requiring employers to ensure that new workers receive training, support and feedback during the 90-day probation period was useless without enforcement.
“Under National’s bill, workers would have no access to Labour Department inspectors, the Mediation Service, the Employment Relations Authority or the Employment Court,” he said.
“Without the ability to enforce it, Dr Mapp’s code of practice isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
Mr Little said that the Employment Relations Act contained provision for fair probationary periods for new workers, and there was no need for change.
On Tuesday the EPMU launched the Work Rights, Our Right! campaign aimed at preventing the National Party bill becoming law. The $100,000 campaign began with advertising in national newspapers and a 250-strong rally in Whangarei, and will include mass rallies in Wellington on July 20 and Christchurch on July 22.
The union has also set up a campaign website at Www.Workrights.Org.Nz