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Has the Right seen the light?

Has the Right seen the light?

The Green Party has welcomed National’s U-turn on four weeks’ leave for all workers.

“However, one of the reasons for National’s about-face appears to be their acceptance that four weeks’ leave will be entrenched in some employment contracts by the end of 2005,” said the Greens’ Employment Spokesperson Sue Bradford.

“If the possibility of entrenchment is guiding National’s new industrial relations policy, they might as well bite the bullet and commit to the retention of the Employment Relations Act and its recent improvements. The ERA is certainly a lot more entrenched than four weeks’ leave.

“While the Nats are at it, we call on them to broaden their appeal to low and middle-income earners - a sector of the voting population they haven’t seemed to care too much about in the past. I would suggest this would be a good time for them to start supporting:

• The reversal of their 1991 benefit cuts
• The raising of the minimum wage to $12 an hour
• The implementation of a universal child benefit, similar to the old Family Benefit
• Confirmation that they won’t return to compulsory work testing of solo mothers
• The introduction of a universal student allowance.

Ms Bradford said given National’s new-found enthusiasm for four weeks’ leave, she called on them to make an election commitment to introduce it for all workers by the end of 2005 rather than leave it to 2007.”

“I look forward to seeing where National’s newfound enthusiasm for workers’ rights takes them next.”

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