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Cheap doctors' visits top priority for workers

Cheap doctors' visits top priority for workers

Cheaper doctors' visits and prescription charges are the most significant thing the Labour Government has done for workers, say union delegates representing 10,000 members of the Service and Food Workers Union Northern Region.

More than 120 delegates were surveyed at forums held in Auckland and Hamilton. They identified cheaper doctors' visits and getting rid of National's Employment Contracts Act, as being the Labour-led Government's greatest achievements for workers.

The delegates have been attending forums to discuss critical issues facing union members and the Union's strategy for addressing these.

SFWU National President Barbara Wyeth said there was a huge amount of optimism amongst delegates.

"There is a real sense of excitement about what will be achieved if Labour gets a fourth term in government. People are looking to Labour to strengthen collective bargaining across whole industries, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and make it affordable for low-paid workers to buy their own houses."

Barbara said delegates feared that if National got in at the 2008 election, it would turn back the gains of the last eight years by attacking unions and cutting public services like health and education.

"The attitude to National allowing workers to sell their extra week's holiday 'by agreement' was 'Yeah right!'," she said.

The issues delegates said were most likely to affect the way they would vote in the next election were job security, and health and education policies.


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