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Union condemns attack on workers' rights

Union condemns attack on workers' rights

The Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota has condemned the Government's decision to slash and burn workers rights, saying the changes are unnecessary, unfair and unreasonable. "The Government believes these changes will provide 'greater choice and more opportunities', yet the reality is very different," said SFWU National Secretary John Ryall.

"The dismissive way that the Government has treated workers' rights is insulting and disrespectful to the thousands of workers who protested on 20 October from Kaitaia to the Bluff, and to the thousands of workers who made submissions to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee," said John Ryall.

In September, cleaner Vaine Lavaka was one of several workers who spoke to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee in Auckland.

Vaine told the committee about the importance of workers having timely access to their union representative, and explained the kind of problems workers face when changes to their working conditions can be proposed at short notice and with very little or no consultation.

At the time, workers were concerned that the Chair, National MP David Bennett seemed to think that the committee was only hearing contributions about the 90 day provision of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

"He dismissed comments about the way in which cleaners' hours are changed or cut at short notice as not being relevant, completely missing the point that it is exactly those sorts of issues which require urgent intervention and assistance from the union," said John Ryall.

"This was particularly upsetting for members from Massey University to hear, since they recently had the experience of a new contractor cutting their hours and making them redundant."

"The Government should not be surprised if we see some more Tui billboards after this. Choice? Yeah right!"


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