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PM attacks on health workers "rotten to the core"

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday 5 December

Alliance says Prime Minister's attacks on health workers "rotten to the core"

The Alliance Party says the attack on striking health workers by the Prime Minister should smash any remaining illusions that she led a "worker friendly" Government.

Alliance President Victor Billot says the Prime Minister and Minister of Health Pete Hodgson have now both tried to publicly pin the blame for health sector strikes on one negotiator, ignoring the fact that the strike is the action of a collective of workers.

"They are effectively saying that the workers involved are a pack of mindless dupes being led by an evil genius, as opposed to union members with a very good grasp of the situation."

Mr Billot says this is an age old technique of employers to isolate and divide workers, was a PR stunt, and its use by a Labour Government was unprincipled, traitorous and rotten to the core.

"Both Clark and Hodgson have come out batting for the District Health Board management to protect their own hides after their underfunding of the health system."

"Both recently received enormous backdated pay increases, in Helen Clark's case around $14 000 a year – to have a go at workers striking for a much more modest wage increase is disgusting."

"The Prime Minister's comments that District Health Board's cannot agree to any demands thrown on the table are interesting given that she didn't have to demand her extra cash – it just came floating along out of the sky."

Mr Billot says that politicians never have to strike to get a wage increase because they are a "self serving elite" who are automatically awarded fat pay increases "as if by magic."

He says workers need to start supporting parties that support workers – like the Alliance.

"The Alliance says the health system is underfunded and to get the funding we would have a dedicated health levy as part of the tax system."



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