November 8, 2012
National’s Hands-Off Approach Failing New Zealand
National’s hands-off approach to jobs is failing New Zealand workers and businesses, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
Unemployment is now at 7.3%, the highest rate seen since 1999.
EPMU National Secretary Bill Newson says the figures are a damning indictment of the government’s management of the economy.
“This Government refuses to accept there is a jobs crisis in New Zealand.
“Meanwhile in the real world, thousands of workers in manufacturing are losing their jobs. This week alone more than 100 workers at Dynamic Controls and Rakon have learned they will be made redundant.
“The strength of the New Zealand dollar and its extreme volatility is punishing our export manufacturing sector, while the Government refuses to come up with a strategy to support and promote manufacturing firms.
40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last four years, and New Zealand urgently needs a strategy for good jobs, higher wages and a modern, high value manufacturing sector, says Bill Newson.
“Instead, we have a government that has given up on jobs in the productive sector entirely, and is ushering in laws to weaken our rights at work with the aim of cutting pay and conditions.
Last month the EPMU brought together manufacturing and exporting businesses, unions, economists and political parties at a Jobs Crisis Summit.
At the summit a Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing was announced, and the EPMU is working to bring together a broad network of individuals and organisations to lobby for change on structural issues holding back manufacturing.
Workplaces hit by mass redundancies in recent months include Dynamic Controls, Rakon, Solid Energy’s Spring Creek and Huntly East mines, Norske Skog’s paper mill in Kawerau, the Tiwai Point aluminimum smelter, Axiam Metals, Nuplex Industries, Aquaheat, Flotech, Summit Wool Spinners, Norman Ellison Carpets, Goulds Fine Foods, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, KiwiRail and the Christchurch Engine Centre.