Twitter photo from Helen Kelly
News from EPMU
Fifteen hundred Wellington workers rallied in Petone today to oppose National’s employment law changes, which threaten to cut the pay of New Zealand workers and remove basic rights at work.
Nurses, factory workers, teachers, and cleaners were among groups of workers who attended the lunchtime rally to send a message to the Government.
EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says today’s rally is the start of a campaign for fairness at work.
“Today’s big turnout sends a strong message to the Government that workers don’t want these law changes. We want our Government to focus on creating jobs and lifting wages, not finding new ways to take away our rights and cut our pay.
“Momentum against the changes is building. Already, 12,000 workers have made submissions against the bill. We’ve had 1,500 people at a rally in Wellington today, and in South Auckland next week we’re expecting a turnout of thousands.
“We urge the Government to listen to workers and drop these unfair laws.”
The proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act will allow employers to:
• Refuse to negotiate a collective agreement with their employees
• Pay new workers less than the rate in the collective agreement
• Opt out of industry agreements in order to undercut their competitors on wages
• Deny workers meal and rest breaks
• Reduce the wages and conditions of vulnerable workers such as cleaners when a contract changes.
• Dock the pay of workers taking partial strike action
• Impose more restrictions on the right to strike
• Refuse to provide employees the information they need to challenge an unfair redundancy or dismissal
News from NZLP
More than a dozen Labour MPs joined workers and union members at a rally this afternoon against the National government’s unfair employment law changes. The EPMU rally against the changes to the Employment Relations Act began at 12pm at the Petone Recreation Ground.
“Labour MPs will stand up for workers and demonstrate our opposition to changes that are unwarranted, highly flawed and will push the wages of many Kiwi workers lower,” says Darien Fenton, spokesperson for Labour Issues.
“The Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges, has ignored advice that his changes to employment law will allow employers to pay workers less, result in fewer collective agreements and lead to serious breaches of New Zealand’s international obligations under International Labour Conventions.
“Submissions begin this week at select committee. Opposition to the changes will be significant and will grow over the coming months as people realise the full impact of what National is doing.
“Who can possibly take seriously a government that continues to talk about more employment and higher incomes, when one of the most fundamental parts of our wage setting system will be undermined by its Employment Relations Amendment Bill?
“Labour, on the other hand, is committed to secure, quality work, where workers are paid at least a living wage, backed up by an employment framework that protects the rights and interests of hard working Kiwis,” says Darien Fenton.