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Leading business council outlines concern with ERB

Media release 3 August 2000

Leading business council outlines concerns with Employment Relations Bill

The Business and Industry Advisory Council, which represents more than 70,000 businesses in New Zealand, has identified a number of major concerns with the Employment Relations Bill, and says the Government's changes to so-called 'lightning rod' issues have not addressed the serious concerns of New Zealand business.

The Council says the Bill shows a lack of understanding of how the workplace operates, and will lead to higher costs and less flexibility for enterprises to respond to opportunities and market conditions.

The Council's meeting today noted that the difficulties caused by the legislation will work against the economy and job creation, especially in the regions, and will conflict with the Government's regional development policy.

The Council's members are concerned that unions' ability to use strike action for multi-employer agreements could paralyse whole sectors of the economy. The monopoly given to unions to negotiate collective agreements also gives unions enormous power over individual enterprises. Extremely wide union access provisions will also cause difficulties for many businesses, the Council says.

The Council says compliance costs facing businesses, especially small businesses, are also about to rise steeply, compounded by the costs of uncertainty, as concepts like 'good faith' bargaining will have to be tested in the courts.

Industry associations who are members of BIAC have a range of concerns relevant to their industries, however all share the concern that the proposed legislation is fundamentally bad for business, jobs and growth.

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A list of industries represented by BIAC is attached.

For further comment, contact:

Tom Lambie 025 310416, 03 6147019
John Collyns 025 472155, 04 4997334
Barry Hellberg 021 673480, 04 4723733

New Zealand Business and Industry Advisory Council


Aviation Industry Association of NZ Inc
Building Service Contractors of NZ
Bus and Coach Association NZ Inc
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce
NZ Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Collision Repair Association
NZ Contractors' Federation
Corporation of Insurance Brokers of NZ Inc
Electrical Contractors Assn of NZ Inc
Employers and Manufacturers Assn (Central)
Employers and Manufacturers Assn (Northern)
Federated Farmers of NZ
Forest Owners Association of NZ
Health Funds Association of NZ
Hospitality Association of NZ
NZ Private Hospitals Association
NZ Institute of Management
Insurance Council of NZ Inc
Investment Savings and Insurance Association
Local Government New Zealand
NZ Manufacturers Federation
NZ Society of Master Plumbers
NZ Meat Industry Association
Motor Trade Association (Inc)
Newspaper Publishers Association of NZ
NZ Nursery & Garden Industry Association
NZ Orchards and Vineyards Association of Employers
New Zealand Post Ltd
Otago-Southland Employers' Association
NZ Painting Contractors Federation
NZ Private Physiotherapists' Assn
Pharmacy Guild of NZ (Inc)
Printing Industries NZ
Registered Master Builders' Federation
Retail Merchants Association of NZ
Nat. Assn of Retail Grocers & Supermarkets of NZ (Inc)
NZ Retail Meat & Allied Trades' Federation Inc
Road Transport Forum NZ
NZ Seafood Industry Council Ltd
NZ Stevedoring Employers Assn Inc
NZ Taxi Federation Inc
NZ Vegetable & Potato Growers Federation

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