Government Is Being Unfair To Workers
“The package of employment law changes announced today tilts the balance in favour of employers and undermines fairness at work”, said Helen Kelly, CTU President today.
There is now an accumulation of attacks on workers rights including ACC changes, reduced holiday entitlements, removal of rights to appeal against unfair dismissal, restrictions on worker access to union officials, meal break changes and so on.
Helen Kelly said that the Department of Labour survey showed that 22% of workers employed under the 90 day law brought in 18 months ago get sacked with no right of appeal against unfair dismissal. Workers surveyed said they felt vulnerable and were concerned about job security. This shows the 90 day law should be dumped not extended said Helen Kelly.
Other changes to personal grievance provisions will make it harder for all workers – even after 90 days – to appeal against unfair dismissal.
Helen Kelly said that, “today’s announcements are a massive attack on the job security of every New Zealand worker”.
We have only recently got 4 weeks annual leave and it is a backward step to put one week up for sale. Workers short of money will be tempted to cash in such leave when what they really need is a decent pay rise. Requiring workers who are genuinely sick to get a Doctor’s certificate is an unnecessary measure.
It appears that restricting worker access to union officials was added into the package at a late stage and breaches prior assurances given to unions by the Government. Helen Kelly said restricting union access is ideological and a deliberate attack on the democratic right of workers to join unions and resolve workplace issues.
Helen Kelly said that unions will oppose all this legislation and will meet this week to discuss an ongoing Fairness at Work Campaign.