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Court Decision Confirms Union Access Rights


Landmark Court Decision Confirms Union Workplace Access Rights

“This is a landmark decision confirming the right of unions to gain access to workplaces during a strike to monitor compliance by employers with the prohibition on hiring alternative strike breakers,” president of the Council of Trade Unions Ross Wilson said today.

Ross Wilson was commenting on the judgment of a Full Court (of 5 judges) of the Court of Appeal in an appeal by Carter Holt Harvey Limited against the National Distribution Union arising out of a strike at the CHH Wiri plant in August last year.

“It is now beyond doubt that Carter Holt was not only in breach of the Employment Relations Act in refusing access to union officials, but there was no legal basis for police arresting the officials for exercising their rights,” he said.

Ross Wilson said it was widely known that the appeal had been supported by employer organisations and had been seen as an important test case.

“It is therefore very satisfying to see the Employment Court decision upheld in its entirety by the Court of Appeal on this occasion,” he said.

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