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National attacks workers and democracy

December 9, 2008
Media Release

National attacks workers and democracy

The National/Act Government’s move to take rights from vulnerable workers by ramming through its fire at will policy under urgency is a betrayal of working Kiwis, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The Government plan for a 90 day no-rights period would mean anyone newly employed by a small business would be left with no protections against unfair sacking for the first 90 days of their employment.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the fire at will legislation is an attack on all Kiwi workers.

“National’s fire at will policy is being sold as a ‘probation’ period. It’s not. The current employment law already allows for a probation period including a fair process to protect employees from abuse, all National is proposing is to take away the fair process.

“The fact John Key’s government wants to rush this through under urgency is undemocratic and goes right against the good faith principles of the current law, it just denies workers a voice on something that directly affects them.

“In the worst economic crisis in a century when the Government should be lifting confidence for business and workers, they are intent on shattering workers’ confidence.

“There are a lot of Kiwis who will be facing redundancy over the next few months and they won’t be happy to discover that John Key’s Christmas gift to them is to further undermine their employment security.”

The EPMU led the successful union campaign to stop the fire at will policy when National first tried to introduce it as a private member’s bill in 2006.


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