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Bad day for New Zealand business

Wayne Mapp - National Industrial Relations Spokesman

20 October 2004

Bad day for New Zealand business

National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Wayne Mapp, says the passing of the anti-growth Employment Relations Law Reform Bill marks the start of bad times for business in New Zealand. The legislation was passed late last night. Dr Mapp says this legislation will take New Zealand back to the bad old days of strikes, compulsion, and multi-employer collective agreements.

"The legislation introduces compulsory unionism by stealth by enabling union fees to be deducted from the wages of all workers, regardless of whether or not they are actually a union member. "That is an attack on the 1.7 million New Zealand workers who have chosen not to join a union. It is an insult to freedom of choice. Other contentious aspects of the new legislation, which are intended to boost union-power include:

-Employers will find it virtually impossible to give non-union workers the same rise as union members.

- Employers can be forced into multi-employer collective agreements.

- Unions will be able to call wildcat stopwork meetings and employers can't do anything to prevent their workers attending.

- Employers can be forced to the bargaining table if as few as two of their employees are union members.

"This is nothing more than pay day for Labour's union masters "New Zealand's 295,000 small businesses will be hit particularly hard by this draconian legislation. "Doing business in New Zealand got a lot harder with the passing of the Bill. A National Government will make repealing it a priority," says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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