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National Warns NZ Will Suffer From Union Muscle

New Zealand will pay a heavy price as more and more workplaces start to rumble under the Government's Employment Relations Act, says National's Industrial Relations spokesperson, Lockwood Smith.

"The armed forces moving into the country's prisons is the latest in a line of industrial disputes that are starting to hurt the economy, and it certainly won't stop there.

"We've had strike action by journalists at the New Zealand Herald and Radio New Zealand, industrial unrest at Sanfords and Sky City Casino and now secondary school teachers and health workers talking strikes as the unions flex their muscle under the ERA.

"In 2000, there were 21 work stoppages, the lowest recorded number since 1935. But in the March quarter this year, New Zealand saw eight work stoppages and with the release of the June quarter figures, we can expect to see a big increase - at least 20 work stoppages, if not more.

"This huge burden of industrial unrest, spurred by the Government's employment law changes, will cost this country dearly in terms of investment and production.

"It's not hard to see that the Government's employment law chickens are coming home to roost," Dr Smith said.

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