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Maori Caucus stands alongside workers

Nanaia
MAHUTA
MP for Hauraki Waikato
3 March 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Maori Caucus stands alongside workers

Industrial action being undertaken across the country clearly signals employment rights are under serious threat, Labour MP for Hauraki Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta, says

Speaking on behalf of the Party’s Maori Caucus Ms Mahuta said its members were right behind the thousands of ports, rest home and meat workers fighting for fair conditions and pay.

“Rest home workers do a fantastic job looking after our elderly, and they should be adequately paid, not just for their hard work but as an indication of the value we place on older New Zealanders.

“This is important work, yet employment conditions in this sector seem to be competing with offshore shareholder profit expectation and future investment potential.

“Port and meat workers understand the need to drive efficiencies and ensure greater productivity, but we have to question how realistic this is and why there is such an emphasis on increasing profits within the context of a global recession. The recession should not be an excuse to undermine the health and safety of workers or create a more casualised work

“These are tough times. The impact of a casualised workforce is greater uncertainty for workers already struggling to pay basic living costs such as rent or a mortgage, food and kai, and power,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“The lockout of meat workers doesn’t just affect those individuals – it also impacts on whaanau and the wider community. It’s vitally important that management and unions get around the table and agree to a fair outcome so these people can go back to work.

“Unfortunately it appears some employers are encouraging workers to move away from the union, resulting in the erosion of collective bargaining conditions that benefit everyone.

“These are tough times and real solutions for improving productivity and creating regional economic growth are ones that are founded on strong employment relationships and good working conditions, and by offering stability to families and communities.

“Labour’s Maori Caucus has one message to workers on this issue –we are with you,” Nanaia Mahuta said.


ends

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