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


FIRST Union Takes Aim At Exploitative ‘gig Economy’

FIRST Union’s Real Work Real Jobs campaign is expanding its focus to include ‘gig economy’ workers like Uber drivers and dependent contractors, with the public release of the union’s submission on the Government’s Better Protections for Contractors discussion document.

Thousands of New Zealand workers are engaged in ‘gig economy’ work, much of which flies under the radar of the Government and unions. These workers are often misclassified as independent contractors, so that companies can limit their responsibilities and obligations as employers under the law. Even minimum wage legislation does not apply to contractors.

"In our submission, we’re telling the Government loud and clear that they need to put an end to the legal loopholes that allow for the exploitation of app-based or ‘platform’ workers," said FIRST Union spokesperson Anita Rosentreter.

FIRST Union’s submission to the Government expands on two central recommendations for future legislation:

1. Make sure gig workers who should actually be employees are not wrongly engaged as contractors, therefore being denied rights and protections under employment law, like the minimum wage, holiday pay, KiwiSaver contributions, union membership and collective bargaining.

2. Empower genuine contractors in the gig economy to improve their working conditions, for example through collective bargaining, so they are not forced to lower their own wages in order to compete.

"The ‘gig economy’ may sound like a brave new world, but employers are often using the same old dirty tricks to keep wages low and workers on edge," says Ms Rosentreter.

"Big bosses are the only rockstars of the ‘gig economy’, and so-called ‘disruption’ is often just doublespeak used to justify skirting laws that were designed to protect workers."

A survey by the New Zealand Rideshare Drivers Network in July 2018 revealed 76% of Uber drivers in New Zealand received less than the minimum wage after their work expenses were factored in, which can include their own car, petrol, insurance and maintenance.

"The aim of our Real Work Real Jobs campaign is to turn insecure work into secure work, and we are employing a range of tactics in our fight for this, including lobbying the Government to develop fit-for-purpose legislation to address the fundamental flaws with contracting in this country," said Ms Rosentreter.

"Too many workers, like Uber and other app-based drivers, are missing out on basic rights because they have been misclassified as independent contractors. And without the right to collectively bargain through their union, there is little they can do to improve their lot themselves."

FIRST Union’s submission on the Government’s Better Protections for Contractors discussion document is attached.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, lest he be carried away in the slavering jaws of Jack Tame…. but this was mere incompetence, not malice. At the same time the President of the United States was (a) falsely accusing one of his media critics of murder, and (b) threatening to shut down Twitter for attaching a warning label to Trump’s attempt at poisoning the electoral process by falsely claiming that postal voting has led to extensive voter fraud... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes

The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>


Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>






InfoPages News Channels