Awards & Strikes come with Labour’s employment policy

Press Release – Business NZ

Employment policy released by the Labour Party today would lead straight back to strike-ridden National Awards, says BusinessNZ. Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the proposal for Industry Standard Agreements – where central bargaining agents …18 October 2011

National Awards and Strikes come with Labour’s employment policy

Employment policy released by the Labour Party today would lead straight back to strike-ridden National Awards, says BusinessNZ.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the proposal for Industry Standard Agreements – where central bargaining agents would set the pay rates for entire industries – is not much different from National Awards, which in the 1970s and ‘80s were responsible for the highest number of strikes ever recorded in New Zealand.

“National Award-type systems make it impossible for enterprises to respond flexibly to business opportunities or threats, and would make our businesses less competitive.

“National Awards would also be unaffordable for small enterprises in small towns and rural areas. They would lead to workers in those enterprises being let go. This policy would be bad for everyone – employees, employers and communities – in fact the only people these proposals would benefit are union officials.”

Mr O’Reilly said other aspects of the policy would also harm workers, employers and communities.

“A minimum wage that would make it harder for employers to offer jobs, and the repealing of the sensible and popular 90-day trial policy are inconsistent with the modern workplace.

“Proposals to treat independent contractors as employees would remove flexibility in industry practice and push up the cost of contracting – leading to higher prices in industries such as construction and home building.”

Mr O’Reilly said the inflexibility in the proposals would be deeply unhelpful for the competitiveness of New Zealand firms and the prospects of employees.

ENDS

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