John Key’s track record on raising wages – 8. An End to Collective Agreements
8. An End to Collective Agreements
National’s covert agenda to resurrect the Employment Contract’s Act involves the following,
- The Employment Relations Authority can declare in certain circumstances that collective bargaining has ended.
- A duty of good faith does not require the parties to conclude a collective agreement.
- Employers can opt out of multi-employer bargaining.
- Partial pay reductions in cases of partial strike action.
- Removing the 30-day rule that forces non-union members to take union terms and conditions.
Items 1, 2, and 3 have only one purpose; to ensure that an employer can walk away from the negotiating table; scrap any collective agreement; and re-hire workers on individual contracts.
It is solely designed to destroy unions once and for all.
Had Items 1, 2, and 3 been in force this year, POAL (Ports of Auckland Ltd) would have been able to abandon the bargaining table after a mock “negotiation”; locked out any worker on strike; and issued take-it-or-leave-it individual contracts.
The worker’s negotiating agent, the Maritime Union, would have been dis-empowered and destroyed.
Only the current provisions of good-faith bargaining in the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Employment Relations Authority were able to stop POAL from unilaterally walking away from the negotiating table. (On 27 March this year, the Employment Court issued a judgement severely admonishing POAL for their actions, and ordering them to return to negotiations.)
The same happened when Talleys locked out workers. Talleys was demanding that workers quit their Union and sign individual contracts.
See previous blogpost: If anyone wants to see the Working Class
See previous blogpost: Help Talley’s Affco Workers!
See previous blogpost: Immovable and Irresistable forces – combined!!
See previous blogpost: The Talleys Strikes Back
All this will change – and not fot the better – if National proceeds with implementation of their draconian law-changes.
They will serve the purposes of business – whilst leaving employees totally vulnerable and at the mercy of their employers.
This is Third World banana republic stuff.
This will drive wages down, and will send more New Zealanders packing for Australia.
Item 4 is self-evident, and is designed to dissuade employees from strike action. Using financial pressure to control workers would be the inevitable outcome of this law-change.
Again, it would leave workers totally vulnerable to employer demands.
Item 5 – What better way to prevent workers from learning about the benefits of union-membership – than by denying workers the benefits of Union-won conditions? It means that an employer can hire staff at lower pay, or sub-standard conditions.
Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson’s own cabinet paper confirmed that the 30 Day Rule would permit employers to offer lower wages to new workers than those on the collective agreement. What other reasonwould there be for such a radical change in our labour laws?
With unemployment now at 7.3%, more than 175,000 people are now competing for fewer and fewer jobs. If National proceeds with it’s miserable labour “reforms” it will simply result in unemployed job-seekers willing to accept lower and lower pay, and reduced conditions. It will become a dog-eat-dog labour market.
This may satisfy free market fanatics, but it does nothing to fulfill Dear Leader’s pledges to raise wages, or create new jobs.
As usual, Key promises one thing whilst his Minister work quietly in the background to achieve the polar-opposite.
In polite society, this is called duplicity.
How does this raise wages, one may rightly ask?
Next chapter: 9. Conclusion
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $18.40/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
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