26 October 2008
We'll be looking for detail from Labour says Union
The National Distribution Union says it will want a place at the table when the detail of Labour's industrial relations policy is hammered out after the election.
Responding to Labour's release today of its industrial relations policy National secretary Laila Harré said: "Broad statements indicate that Labour wants to make it easier to bargain with multiple employers and set standards across whole industries - especially those currently employing the two-thirds of workers who earn less than $15 an hour.
"Industries like retail, passenger bus services, general carrying and contracting need changes to take wages out of the competition between companies for customers and contracts," says Laila Harré.
"We know workers want to join unions and bargain for pay rises. We've proved that with our campaigns to unionise Auckland 's Pak n Save supermarkets in the last 2 years. But there are another 130 odd Pak n Save and New World supermarkets around the country whose employees need pay rises too. Our current law makes it extremely difficult for us to achieve that given the high compliance costs of single-enterprise collective bargaining."
Laila Harré says the NDU has concerns with one Labour promise - to "ensure only union members" benefit from collective agreements.
"Union members get angry when non-members freeload on collective agreements, but divide and rule is not the answer. This is a difficult area but we see employers exploiting the advantage of keeping non-members out of collective agreements too often and we'll want to have a say on how this idea proceeds."