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Kate Sheppard would be furious says union

14 May 2009
For Immediate use

Kate Sheppard would be furious says union

New Zealand’s second largest private sector union today condemned the Government over scrapping the pay and employment equity unit at the Department of Labour.

The Service and Food Workers Union represents 24,000 members, nearly 70% of whom are women.

SFWU Northern Regional Secretary Jill Ovens says the disbanding of the unit is a tragedy and another step in the National led government revealing it’s true colours.

“New Zealand once led the world in its attitude to suffrage and women’s rights. We celebrate this with the image of suffrage leader Kate Shepard on the $10 bill. Now that image has been torn up by this government."

Jill Ovens says the disbanding of the unit means working women will be further marginalised.

“Nearly 40 years after a National government passed the first Equal Pay Act, it is a tragedy that another National Government has closed its mind to further improving the pay and conditions of working women."

Jill Ovens says the union had hoped that Mr Key had learnt from the mistakes of his predecessor Jim Bolger whose Government ripped up the 1991 Employment Equity laws.

“Alas, Mr Key and his Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson appears to have learnt nothing from the mistakes of the past. Kate Sheppard would be furious were she alive today.”

Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota
www.sfwu.org

ENDS

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