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Mana Industrial Relations Policy Release


– 25 November 2011

Key points:

1. Promote industry wide pay scales which take wages out of the competition between companies.

Comment: Security is an excellent example of the failure of the free market to protect and increase workers wages. Security officers typically are either on or close to the minimum wage and undercutting on pay and conditions is rife in the competition between companies. Anyone can set up a security company from a car boot and undermine rates at companies paying above the minimum. It’s been a race to the bottom with workers the big losers. Security guards have to work 60-70 hours per week to get a livable wage. At Darien Rush many security guards employed for the work cup were paid under the minimum wage. How? Because they weren’t paid for signing in, getting uniformed and attending briefings – just when deployed. They could typically be there for seven or eight hours but paid for just five hours at the minimum wage.

2. Provide for the right to strike for workers to enforce their contact and on any significant political, economic, cultural, international or environmental issues.

Comment: Workers need the right to enforce their contract and to take action on any issue which affects their lives or their communities.

3. Strengthen the requirement that a work week should, wherever possible, be no more than 40 hours worked over 5 days.

4. All work in excess of 40 hours a week or 8 hours in a day be paid at time and a half.

5. All casual employment to have a 25% loading on the hourly rate for the job to cover holiday and other entitlements and the absence of job security.

Comment: Working hours in New Zealand are getting longer and many workers have lost their work/life balance. We already work longer than most countries (average 53 hours per week) to make up for low wage rates. Compulsory overtime rates would help protect workers’ hours and give higher pay when they do work extra hours.

6. 10 days sick leave

Comment: The current five days is pathetic as any worker with children will tell you. 10 should be the legislated minimum.

7. Matariki as a public holiday

Comment: Why not?


Industrial Relations

MANA believes that a satisfying job with good work conditions and decent pay is essential for the wellbeing of individuals and whanau.

For many years now, the workers who produce the wealth of this country have had their standard of living and relative wages reduced year after year under both National and Labour Governments.

Maori, Pasifika and migrant peoples are disproportionately in low paid, part time and other precarious forms of employment. Along with young people generally, they are also more likely to be unemployed or underemployed.

MANA supports the efforts of workers everywhere to join and build unions which can represent their interests collectively in the struggle for decent wages and conditions.

MANA also recognises that at a time when large transnational corporations use their money and power to shift production and jobs across borders at will, workers in Aotearoa deserve the ability to work across borders with fellow workers overseas to take action in industrial disputes involving multinationals.

MANA Industrial Relations policy priorities include:

• Immediately increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 1 April 2012, and peg it to two thirds of the average wage each year from 1 April 2013.

• All young workers 16 and over are entitled to a minimum wage at the same rate as adults.

• Strengthen employment relations legislation to improve the ability of workers and unions to bargain collectively with employers.

• Ensure that workers who receive the benefit of a collective agreement without belonging to the union which negotiated the agreement, are required to pay at least the equivalent of the union fee back to the union in recompense for the advantage gained.

• Remove workers’ pay from competition between companies in the same industry through industry-wide pay scales and conditions of employment in industries where unions are present.

• To encourage industry-wide bargaining employers should be obliged to meet and appoint a joint bargaining team to meet with the union within 30 days of initiation of bargaining.

• If employers refuse to conclude a collective agreement in bargaining the union to have the right to have outstanding matters determined by an arbitration body.

• Impose significant penalties on employers who discourage workers from joining unions.

• Immediately abolish the 90 day trial period for new employees.

• Provide for the right to strike for workers to enforce their contact and on any significant political, economic, cultural and environmental issues.

• Legalise industrial action taken by workers here in support of workers employed by the same transnational company overseas. (An example of this could be workers for Fisher and Paykel in New Zealand taking action in support of Fisher and Paykel employees in Thailand).

• Provide a small pool of Government funding to support developing stronger relationships and mutual information and education between workers who share the same employer in Aotearoa and overseas.

• Support pay and employment equity; the extension of paid parental leave to at least one year; and oppose any further liberalisation of shop trading hours.

• Increase funding for employment and union education and information, including for Maori, Pasifika and migrant workers in their own languages, and in culturally appropriate ways.

• MANA is committed to job creation with work that is socially, economically and environmentally useful in our communities. All workers on job creation schemes are entitled to wages which are at a minimum equivalent to fulltime, minimum wage, with the right to join a trade union.

• Support for maintaining the public provision of services including in education, health, welfare, housing and prisons. We oppose all privatisation of public services.

• Where state services are contracted out to community and tangata whenua organisations, funding should be at a level to ensure workers have pay and conditions no worse than those offered within the state sector.

• Legislate for a statutory minimum 10 days sick leave.

• Legislate for a minimum redundancy payment of six weeks pay for the first year of employment and two weeks pay for each subsequent year of employment.

• Mondayise all public holidays

• Everyone working on a public holiday be entitled to time and a half for the hours worked and a day in lieu.

• Strengthen the requirement that a work week should, wherever possible, be no more than 40 hours worked over 5 days.

• All work in excess of 40 hours a week or 8 hours in a day be paid at time and a half.

• All casual employment to have a 25% loading on the hourly rate for the job to cover holiday and other entitlements and the absence of job security.

• Add Matariki as a statutory public holiday under the Holidays Act.


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