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

 


MBIE and Forest Owners Collude to Deny Workers Info

MBIE and Forest Owners Collude to Deny Forest Workers Information about Rights
 
Forest Owners will run Government funded “safety breakfasts” in January this year for forest workers but have refused to allow these workers to receive information about their rights at work including the impact of poor working conditions on health and safety. The breakfasts paid for by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment at $20 per head will include a short presentation by Ministry inspectors on the new Forest Safety Regulations and then a briefing from employers. 
 
“Unions sought to attend to tell workers about their rights at work, including to refuse dangerous work, to demand safe hours and roster arrangements and to elect worker health and safety representatives at their workplace. “ Helen Kelly, CTU President said. 
 
“We also wanted to give them our view that poor conditions are causing forest accidents and they can seek advice from us about these matters.  This request was turned down by the Forest Owners unanimously and the Ministry did not support it in any active way. As a compromise it was agreed that a union leaflet would be distributed by the Ministry with content agreed by the Forest Owners – last minute on Friday both the Ministry and Forest Owners changed their minds and the leaflet has been canned”.
 
“What you have here is the  employers in the most dangerous workplaces in NZ determining the Regulator’s approach to health and safety in the industry.  Basically what they say goes and this is unchallenged by the Government Department that is charged with keeping workers safe.  The recently released regulations for the industry were written by the employers and fall well short of Australian and Canadian standards with key elements like employee participation,  maximum hours and days off and working in harsh weather completely minimised or missing.  And now the Ministry is funding these breakfasts with agendas run on the employers terms to deliberately deny these workers getting any voice at all”.
 
The Inquiry into Pike River found that worker participation and voice is a key element of workplace health and safety that must be improved and that it was one of the failings in the mine.  It found the regulator weak and bullied by the Pike management and unwilling to take a stand. 
 
Helen Kelly said “we are concerned that this is being repeated in the Forest Industry.  There have been 13 deaths in 3 years in our forests and the regulator runs the risk of simply compliantly supporting a poor safety effort.  While this occurs, accidents in the industry will continue.  The New Zealand Forests are Certified as sustainable under international standards, which include obligations to support union representation.  Unions will be writing to international forest certifications bodies raising the unsustainable nature of New Zealand Forestry”.
 
ENDS.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news