Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Fight Against Workplace Deaths

Collective Bargaining Vital in Fight Against Workplace Deaths

Strengthening workers’ ability to bargain collectively will reduce workplace fatalities and improve this country’s dismal health and safety record, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

Speaking to around 300 delegates at the first day of the CTU conference in Wellington, Ross Wilson said that for the second year in a row the Occupational Safety and Health Service had investigated 73 fatal workplace accidents.

He blamed the toll on the combined effect of the Employment Contracts Act, in limiting union access to workplaces, and the lack of mandatory worker participation in health and safety systems under the previous law.

“Workers were not involved enough in occupational safety and health, so were less aware of the issues,” he said. “Union representation was weakened and there was little bargaining around health and safety issues.”

Poor work practices such as competitive tendering, outsourcing of dangerous tasks, work overload and long working hours have added to the danger.

The new Health and Safety in Employment Act, which requires workplace health and safety representatives, and the Employment Relations Act will help to reduce workplace accidents, Ross Wilson said.

“Unions want the ERA amended so it does not merely allow collective bargaining, but actively promotes it,” Ross Wilson said.

Ross Wilson said the new laws presented the union movement with challenges.

“We must change the perception that health and safety is a specialist area which must be left to a few people who – it is said – have a sort of obsessive interest in it,” he said. “Workers care about their health and safety and their families certainly care about whether they come home at night. It concerns everyone.”

Unions also needed to make sure that health and safety was a key issue in bargaining with employers, Ross Wilson said.

“Thirdly, there is the challenge to make the fundamental link between unsafe systems of work which cause accidents and occupational diseases, and the potential for collective bargaining to improve those systems of work.

“Just as the laws and practices of the 1980s and 1990s allowed the deterioration of systems of work, so can the rights that we have under the ERA and the HSE Act assist us to rebuild safe systems and conditions of work,” Ross Wilson said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Compelling Case For Meatless Meat

Talk about living in a bubble. As vegetarianism and veganism become normalised – there are more options on restaurant menus! - it can be easy to think that the whole world is gradually giving up on meat. Alas, the reverse is true. Americans for instance consumed 100 kilograms of meat and poultry in 2018, up from 75 kilograms in 1960, according to the US Department of Agriculture figures... More>>


 
 

Pay Policy: CTU Public Service Unions Meet With Public Service Minister

The Council of Trade Unions and affiliated public service unions, met with the Minister for the Public Service Hon Chris Hipkins this afternoon to discuss the pay expectations of those working in our public services. CTU President Richard Wagstaff said it was ... More>>

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>

ALSO:

Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels