Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Selling out Kiwi work rights for Warner Bros a “disgrace”

21 December 2010 -- News Release
Selling out Kiwi work rights for Warner Bros a “disgrace”, EPMU

New Zealanders ought to be deeply concerned at the government’s willingness to change our labour laws at the behest of US entertainment corporation Warner Bros earlier this year, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU).

Documents released under the Official Information Act to Radio New Zealand show the government was prepared to change the law on the status of employment agreements in the film industry in the face of a threat to send the making of “The Hobbit” movie offshore. The papers also reveal that the threat of a boycott by actors, which by the time Warner Bros executives arrived in New Zealand had been called off, was not an issue but that a 2005 Supreme Court decision and decades old law was.

“It is simply staggering that a New Zealand government should accede to a rushed law change that deprives workers of a right they’ve had for decades just because an overseas mega-corporate and a local film director ask for it,” says EPMU national secretary Andrew Little.

“The government’s job is to act in the best interests of all New Zealanders, not the mighty and the powerful, and certainly not for overseas mega-corporates.”

In his email Peter Jackson said, “What Warners requires for ‘The Hobbit’ is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such a way that it feels that its $500 million investment is as secure as possible. Unfortunately Warners have become very concerned at the grey areas in our employment laws. The situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that they spent a lot of money fighting the Bryson case – unsuccessfully – in the New Zealand courts.”

"Changing New Zealand's labour laws at the behest of an overseas corporation and one of the most powerful men in New Zealand is a disgrace.”

“By doing so the government legislated to remove the right of the courts to look behind the form of an employment agreement in order to check the true nature of the agreement, which is something that has been crucial to a fair balance in employment law around the world for many, many decades.”

"The right of the courts to look at substance over form is fundamental in commercial and tax law so why should it not apply to people who sell their skills, talent and time in the New Zealand film industry?”

"The documents released to Radio New Zealand show that the National government’s actions were a total sell-out of New Zealand law making and legal principle, and make New Zealand the laughing stock of the developed world.”

The EPMU represents around 45,000 members across eleven industry sectors and takes an active interest in employment law.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Compelling Case For Meatless Meat

Talk about living in a bubble. As vegetarianism and veganism become normalised – there are more options on restaurant menus! - it can be easy to think that the whole world is gradually giving up on meat. Alas, the reverse is true. Americans for instance consumed 100 kilograms of meat and poultry in 2018, up from 75 kilograms in 1960, according to the US Department of Agriculture figures... More>>


 
 

Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Pay Policy: CTU Public Service Unions Meet With Public Service Minister

The Council of Trade Unions and affiliated public service unions, met with the Minister for the Public Service Hon Chris Hipkins this afternoon to discuss the pay expectations of those working in our public services. CTU President Richard Wagstaff said it was ... More>>

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>

ALSO:


Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels