Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New forestry standards show nothing learned from Pike River


Wednesday December 5, 2012

New forestry standards show nothing learned from Pike River

The launch of new forestry standards today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MoBIE) show the department has learned nothing from the tragedy of Pike River and continues to provide weak leadership in the area of Health and Safety, the Council of Trade Unions said today.

“The standards were developed without any worker participation and by the very organisations in the forest industry that already show they have no understanding of the seriousness of the ongoing health and safety issues in the sector,” CTU president Helen Kelly said.

“The repeated claims by employers and owners that the industry is safe show they have no intention of improving.”

“Last week saw another worker killed and one seriously injured. That’s 13 in three years, as well at least 5 logging truck deaths since Christmas (not all drivers).

Helen Kelly said the CTU has considerable concerns with the standards including:
• No provisions for employee participation (despite this being a key recommendation in the Pike River Report).
• Weak provisions around vehicles (for example no requirement for seatbelts)
• Risk shifting to employees (for example stating that workers can refuse unsafe work but requiring them to work it out with their employer first rather than stating reciprocal obligations e.g. employers have an obligation to stop, listen and respond).

The CTU also has a major objection to the silence in the standards relating to employment rights and the obligations of employers to have fair employment agreements, Helen Kelly said.

“We believe working conditions in the industry are a major contributor to the accident levels including long hours and fatigue.

“On this matter the standards put the onus on the workers to manage fatigue, requiring employers only to provide ‘regular rest breaks, a meal break, a daily or nightly sleep period and shared driver responsibilities’. How this can be seen as best practice is unbelievable,” Helen Kelly said.

“The standards are very similar to the previous standards which were launched with great fanfare and have continued to fail workers in the industry.

“By promulgating these standards today, the Ministry is making itself complicit in the continued risk of workers in the forest industry,” Helen Kelly said.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news