October 9, 2008
Redundancy policy shows vision – EPMU
Labour’s policy to consult over minimum redundancy rights for workers would help ensure fairness and security in work during rough economic times says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The EPMU has pushed for minimum redundancy rights so that workers who lose their job have a backstop to carry them into other work in New Zealand rather than having them exit our workforce and take their skills with them.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the minimum redundancy policy shows Labour is thinking about the welfare of New Zealand workers and the economy in the face of darkening economic times.
“Giving workers who lose their jobs some minimum rights softens the blow of job loss and ought to mean workers can continue to pay their mortgages and their grocery bills for a short period while looking for new work.
“It provides a degree of stability at a time that is generally extremely unstable for workers, their families and everyone in a business relationship with them.
“For most unionised workers facing redundancy, such as those at Fisher & Paykel and PPCS earlier this year, there has been basic notice, consultation and redundancy compensation to ease the situation.
“But most Kiwi workers don’t have that opportunity and that often leaves them scrambling for the first low paid, low skill job they can find. That’s not a pathway to a productive economy.
“Most of our members are already well ahead of the proposed minimum standards but that’s because they are unionised and have access to strong collective agreements and we have no doubt that if it wasn’t for these members making these wins then this kind of policy would never flow through to other Kiwi workers.”
The EPMU represents 50,000 working New Zealanders across 11 industries and has been involved in the Public Advisory Group on Restructuring and Redundancy.