CTU MEDIA RELEASE 31 October 2008
Add the two packages says CTU
The Council of Trade Unions says that the job transition proposals from the two main parties both have merits, and a combination of the two packages would be the best outcome to ensure workers don't unfairly bear the brunt of a slowing economy.
"We welcome the commitments this week from a number of parties to support workers affected by an economic downturn," Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said.
"Labour's job search allowance and proposed minimum redundancy standards will help to soften the immediate blow, and retraining allowances will help workers boost their skills. Labour's ongoing commitment to workers' rights when they are unfairly dismissed will also protect workers moving into new jobs."
"And National has correctly addressed a concern that many workers in receipt of Working for Families in-work payments will suddenly experience a big income reduction at a time of extreme need and in times of high distress."
"We think the best outcome is to combine the two policies. A Labour led government should address the in-work tax credit issues the CTU and others have raised, and a National led government should look at minimum redundancy standards, drop its proposal to remove unfair dismissal protection and provide more support for retraining."
"We still think National needs to shelve their policy of removing unfair dismal laws for the first 90 days for a worker in small businesses," Helen Kelly said.
"This is unfair at the best of times, but will just cause additional anxiety for people moving between jobs in the current economic conditions, and may act to discourage workers from taking jobs in small firms."