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Triangular Bill passed a step towards fairness

The NZ Meat Workers Union welcomes the passing of the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Bill last night in Parliament.

“This change acknowledges that employment is increasingly outside standard employment relationships and need more protection” says Darien Fenton, MWU Organising Director, who was the original drafter of the Bill.

“The Bill specifically recognises that in a three-way relationship, where a workers’ primary employer (ie a labour hire company) sets the pay and conditions, those they hire out to third party organisations (the controlling employer) are vulnerable when it comes to their rights.

“Not only are they often working beside other workers doing exactly the same job but being paid less, but even worse, if the controlling employer they are hired out to decides their face doesn’t fit, they have no rights to challenge that situation. This could extend to bullying, unfair treatment or demands, racial or sexual discrimination and even a request to join a union,

“In the meat industry, labour hire is becoming an increasing concern where these types of insecure arrangements are deliberately used to undermine existing union pay and conditions.

“Of particular concern has been the employment of migrant workers by labour hire companies, where they are promised the earth to come here, and find themselves discriminated against because they are not directly employed.

“While I would like to have seen the Bill go further with workers doing the same work paid the same as other workers covered by collective agreements, I am pleased that in New Zealand, we have made a significant start to tackling the unfair arrangements that come with various insecure work arrangements, including labour hire”, Darien Fenton says.

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