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Give at least 90 days consultation on 90 day bill

For immediate release
Tuesday 9 December 2008

Give at least 90 days consultation on 90 day fire at will bill

Bank workers’ union Finsec is calling on the National government to allow the public at least 90 days of consultation on their bill which proposes to remove many fundamental legal rights during a worker’s first 90 days of employment.

Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell said that discussions with Finsec members before the election showed that even those who were planning to vote National had expressed serious concerns about the 90 days with no rights bill.

“Trampling workers’ rights so soon is no path to long term government. This is a poor choice of Christmas gift for our most vulnerable workers. National will lose support over this very quickly,” said Campbell.

“There is no pressing need for this bill to be passed under urgency. The government should afford all New Zealanders the opportunity to have a say on their proposal to remove basic and longstanding human rights. Such a process is a traditional hallmark of our democracy,” said Campbell

“National’s 90 days measure removes long-standing rights for workers and needs to be considered very carefully. Passing this bill under urgency creates a dangerous precedent – stripping rights off ordinary New Zealanders and providing no opportunity for the public to have a say,” said Campbell.

“There are many unanswered questions about how the proposed legislation would work. What happens when staff numbers go above or below the 20 staff threshold during a worker’s first 90 days? Will collective agreements override this probationary period? A select committee process could iron out these issues,”said Campbell

“The last thing workers need in a recession is another attack on their job security. We call on the government to display sound judgement and allow this bill to follow normal parliamentary procedures, including a select committee process,” said Campbell.

ENDS

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