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Human Rights Day - taking workers' rights

CTU MEDIA RELEASE

10 December 2008

International Human Rights Day a sinister choice to take away workers’ rights

“Choosing International Human Rights Day as the day to bring in new laws taking away New Zealanders rights to a fair hearing at work is an unfitting, sinister choice,” Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said today.

National is expected to introduce tonight or tomorrow morning their Fire at Will Bill, taking unfair dismissal protections away from the 30 per cent of the workforce who are in small firms.

“National is driving through its Bill taking away a basic right of workers to a fair hearing, in urgency in the weeks before Christmas, when there is no compelling reason to do so.”

“Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights, rights which include the right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work. How will National’s Bill honour this declaration?”

“Today the Human Rights Commission has joined the calls for this rushed legislation to be sent to select committee for a proper process. Based on comments from John Key National’s 2008 Bill differs in a number of ways from its 2006 effort, and it needs the full scrutiny of Parliament.”

“The Council of Trade Unions has today launched an email petition to the Prime Minister, for people to give their views on the package of laws introduced this week which take away work rights, halve KiwiSaver employer contributions and put up taxes for low income workers.”

ENDS

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