July 3, 2008
ACC a workers’ issue - EPMU
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has condemned National’s plan to privatise ACC by stealth as a betrayal of every working New Zealander and says National has forgotten that workers will insist on having a say on who insures their safety at work.
In an urgent remit passed at the union’s national conference this morning the EPMU rejected any plan to introduce profit-seeking insurers to the ACC scheme because of the risk that working families would lose coverage and security.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the policy would be disastrous for New Zealand workers and if such a scheme were put in place unions would treat it as an industrial issue.
“ACC is held up around the world as a model accident insurance cover scheme, as PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently confirmed, and is especially efficient for workplace accident cover.
“Decent accident cover is a basic work right and at a time when we are trying to improve work rights to create safer, more productive workplaces, threatening workers’ accident cover like this is just plain madness.
“National has tried this before and one of the large players here, HIH, subsequently collapsed in Australia leaving workers with no security and no protection.
“Ultimately it is Kiwi workers who would be affected by this and our members are determined to have their say because it’s their lives and wellbeing at stake. Make no mistake, the EPMU will be treating this as an industrial issue.”
The EPMU’s is New Zealand’s largest private sector union and is currently conducting its national conference. National’s ACC policy was unanimously condemned by elected workplace delegates from across the country.