At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.
The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors.
“In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into receivership, it is pleasing to finally see some major policy initiatives to stem the decline of manufacturing and the slaughter of manufacturing jobs in New Zealand,” FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.
“FIRST Union supported and made submissions to last year’s Parliamentary Manufacturing Inquiry and is pleased to see that the policy takes up many of its recommendations.
“It is pleasing to see the policy identify changes to government procurement and monetary policy as two key areas that will support New Zealand manufacturing and manufacturing jobs,” Robert Reid said.
“These are two policy areas that FIRST Union has been advocating over for many years.”
However FIRST Union warns Labour that such proposals will face huge opposition from neo-liberal parts of the government bureaucracy.
“A number of attempts were made to have a pro-manufacturing government procurement policy under the 1999-2008 Labour- led Government but were all defeated by officials. The next Labour-led Government will need to have a Minister who is willing and able to drive such changes through.
“The review of monetary policy and the lowering of the New Zealand dollar is a welcome departure from the neo-liberal monetarist policies of successive Labour and National Governments since 1984. It will again take nerves of steel to stare down the free market mandarins in Treasury and the Reserve Bank to introduce monetary policies that will support rather than destroy manufacturing jobs in New Zealand,” Robert Reid said.