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Nat’s employment policy would drive down wages

July 24, 2008
Media Release

National’s employment policy would drive down wages – EPMU

The National Party’s employment policy attacks work rights and would drive down the wages of all New Zealand workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The policy aims to take rights from workers in a new job, undermine collective bargaining, block workers accessing representation on site and undermine annual leave provisions and holiday pay rates.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says National’s policy shows it has no plans to lift wages in New Zealand.

“Every point in this policy is an attack on current work rights and every point would put downward pressure on the wages of working New Zealanders.

“New Zealanders need higher wages to meet escalating costs of living and to close the wage gap with Australia and it simply isn’t possible to do this by abolishing basic worker protections and undermining collective bargaining.

“With this policy we are seeing National’s intentions include the desire to take all work rights off many workers in the first 90 days of a new job, to stop workers from getting on-site representation, cut their holiday pay and put pressure on vulnerable workers to give up their fourth week’s annual leave.

“Every one of these moves is designed to take workers’ rights from them and increase the power of employers.

“The last time work rights in New Zealand went backwards, wages fell. National’s just promising working families more of the same.”

The EPMU is running 25 mass member rallies around New Zealand this August to promote the importance of strong work rights to higher wages, safer workplaces and better conditions. For more information about the Work Rights Wage Drive visit www.workrights.org.nz

ENDS

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