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Union Organiser to Take Kiwi Support to Oz Workers

Saturday 12 November 2005
MEDIA RELEASE
ATTENTION: INDUSTRIAL/POLITICAL REPORTERS

Union Organiser to Carry Kiwi Support to Oz Workers

“NUPE is sending a union organiser to attend this Tuesday’s national day of community protest in Melbourne against the Australian version of the Employment Contracts Act,” said Lynda Boyd, Organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

She was commenting on New Zealand unionists’ support for the anticipated massive protests in 300 venues across Australia on Tuesday against John Howard’s unmandated and highly unpopular legislation.

“I will be attending the Melbourne rally and march that starts at 9am next Tuesday,” said Lynda Boyd. “I will be speaking to Australian workers about the impacts of the New Zealand legislation in deunionising workers, cutting out penal rates, lowering the minimum wage and various other negative effects which have left New Zealand wages 25% below those in Australia.”

“At a meeting this week, NUPE delegates expressed their grave concern at the proposed changes to Australian industrial relations law which are similar to the ECA introduced in New Zealand in 1991 and asked me to pass on NUPE’s support and solidarity in meeting with Australia unions for the action next week,” said Lynda Boyd. “Local NUPE members will also be rallying in support at 12.15 on Tuesday at Christchurch Hospital.”

“I will be telling Aussi workers that NUPE represents Health workers in New Zealand who have pay scales starting from $9.50ph and no penal rates for overtime,” said Lynda Boyd. “Our Union is in the middle of a campaign seeking a 30% catch-up for cuts that began with the Employment Contracts Act.”

“Australian workers need to heed the lesson that prevention is better than cure with legislation like Howard’s,” said Lynda Boyd. “New Zealand is living proof of what happens when workers do not fight hard to stop anti worker legislation.”

ENDS

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