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Employment Relations Bill Will Cut Workers' Pay

CTU Media Release

26 April 2013

Employment Relations Bill Will Cut Workers’ Pay

The Bill introduced today to destroy collective bargaining is a direct attack on the wages and conditions of those who go to work every day in this country.

Helen Kelly, CTU President says “these changes make it easier for employers to cut pay and conditions. They will increase inequality and make it harder for working families to get by.”

“The Government’s Cabinet paper admits these changes will make it easier for employers to pay workers less.”

“The Bill weakens collective bargaining and will exclude new employees from collective coverage at the time they are most vulnerable - when they start a new job. Employers can favour individual agreements and refuse to conclude a collective agreement. This Bill will further reduce pay and conditions for New Zealand workers, especially for low paid, vulnerable workers. These changes are unfair on working Kiwis.”

“The Government is hiding the real effect by using pretty words like flexibility and choice, but this Bill even removes the tea break. No one will be fooled that this is anything but a license to exploit working people. This law will breach our international obligations and the CTU will be taking a complaint to the International Labour Organisation about it. The Bill also puts some of our trade agreements at risk.”

“Working life is hard enough for many Kiwis at the moment. Many families are struggling to keep up with the cost of living, even with low inflation. This Bill will hurt these families more than it helps, and will take us back close to what applied under the despised Employment Contracts Act. We are standing against this Bill.”

“We will be campaigning against these changes, and pushing for employment laws that encourage collective bargaining as the way to higher wages and productive and safe workplaces, not changes that undermine bargaining and make it even harder for workers to get ahead,” said Helen Kelly.


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