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Employment changes an admission of economic failure

October 30, 2012
Media Release

Employment changes an admission of economic failure

The Government’s employment law changes announced today are an admission of its failure to provide good jobs and decent wages for Kiwi workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The changes announced today include:

• Giving employers the ability to pay new workers less than the rate in the collective agreement for the first 30 days
• Allowing employers to refuse to conclude collective pay negotiations
• Further restrictions on industrial action during pay negotiations
• Removal of employment protections for certain vulnerable workers

EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says the changes will mean lower pay for Kiwi workers.

“Nearly every change announced today will have the effect of reducing New Zealanders’ pay and conditions.

“This is the ultimate admission of the Government’s failure to come up with an economic strategy that produces good jobs and decent wages.

“It is simply staggering that at a time when wages are stagnating, unemployment is rising and manufacturing is in decline, National’s only answer is to cut wages and conditions in the hope we can somehow beat China in the race to the bottom.

“These changes are no solution to the jobs crisis or the record exodus of Kiwis heading to Australia for better pay. What this country needs is a strategy for good jobs, higher wages and a modern, high value manufacturing sector.

“The idea that we can fix our economic woes by paying people less and making it easier to sack vulnerable workers shows just how badly out of touch this Government has become,” Mr Newson said.

Statistics New Zealand figures show the manufacturing sector has shrunk by nearly 40,000 jobs since 2008.


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