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

InternetNZ On Snowden Docs: Mass Collection Of Pacific Data Affects Kiwi Holidaymakers

The allegation that New Zealand has conducted mass data harvesting on its Pacific Island neighbours raises concerns about New Zealanders’ communications being collected, says InternetNZ.

“If the allegations are correct, then New Zealand would be mining data about everyone in the Pacific Islands named in the allegations. That’s everyone. Not just individuals who attract specific surveillance warrants, but everyone. This means local residents to visiting Kiwi tourists could be having their data collected." More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news