Press Release – First Union
The governments proposed changes to employment law are a good first step in restoring balance and fairness to the employment relation system, according to FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga.
25 January 2018
Employment law changes: “a good first step”
The government’s proposed changes to employment law are a good first step in restoring balance and fairness to the employment relation system, according to FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga.
“The fact that there are so many changes and most of the changes are reverting back to the original Employment Relations Act highlights the “death by a thousand cuts” approach of the previous National Government over the last 9 years,” said Maga.
“We’re pleased with the role our union played in those nine dark years, helping make many of National’s regressive changes inoperable.”
“For example when we publicly exposed Cotton On for attempting to withdraw tea and meal break provisions we put a halt on other companies doing the same,” said Maga.
“We’ve also been able to keep 90 day trial provisions out of 98% of the Collective Agreements that we negotiate. We highlighted the absurdity of the partial strike penalties when St John and Bunnings tried to dock workers’ wages for wearing a non-standard tee shirt or removing a company apron.”
“It’s disappointing that the current government doesn’t yet have the numbers to completely get rid of the 90-day trial provisions. However the removal of it in firms of 20-plus workers is a first step and we are sure that the proposed research will convince NZ First that the provision can be removed completely without any negative impact on small business.”
“FIRST Union is also pleased with some of the new provisions, especially the requirement to include wages in a Collective Agreement. Our union has been battling with South Island Foodstuffs (and their Pak’nSave and New World stores) and Mitre 10 for some time to achieve this crucial right for our members,” said Maga.
“FIRST Union will use the opportunity in the select committee process to present one or two more provisions that could be incorporated in the Bill to further restore balance and fairness in New Zealand’s employment relations system.”
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