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 First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters. They’ve been asked to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music. Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens.

If I didn’t know any better, it would seem the world has conspired for me to be a Green Party voter. Parents, Green voters? Check. Participation in bilingual education that stressed the importance of inquiry, solidarity and the Treaty? Check. Some sort of vegetarian leanings (seven years and counting, jus’ sayin’)? Check. However, above all of that, I’m voting Green because I believe in supporting the importance of every New Zealander’s contribution to Aotearoa, from the hairdresser in Foxton to the fisherman in Bluff. You could say that I like the cut of the Greens’ jib. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news