Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Dunne on worker’s rights

Dunne on worker’s rights


Peter Dunne


Despite his political problems, and despite being on the wrong side of the asset sales debate, Ohari MP, Peter Dunne has come out firmly opposed to Jami-Lee Ross’s strike-breaking Bill (Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Amendment Bill).

Ross’s Bill would effectively allow employers to break strikes by employing scab labour to take over the worker’s jobs.  Effectively, it would be constructive dismissal if workers dared to strike for any reason.

The Bill also allows employers to change worker’s conditions at will.

This is a nasty, repressive, anti-worker’s Bill that is much worse than the Employment Contracts Act of the 1990s. It is the ‘wet dream‘ of every far-right, anti-unionist fanatic who wants workers to be little more than de facto slave-labour.

For some, it appears that Ross’s vile Bill is a step too far.

On 18 June, the NZ Herald reported,

[Peter Dunne] said he would not be backing National MP Jami-Lee Ross’s bill allowing employers to hire contract workers when their employees go on strike.

Mr Dunne said it was a step too far and he thought the right to strike was an important part of industrial law.

“I think this is really the Ports of Auckland Bill, frankly. And while I understand the motivation behind it, I think it’s too big of a sledgehammer to deal with this specific issue.

“I think that there will be people who will misuse it, and I think that’s detrimental.”

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Dunne breaks silence by taking to Twitter

Dunne is 100% spot on – “this is really the Ports of Auckland”. It is an attempt by neo-liberals to destroy any remaining vestige of workers representation through their unions. It is anti-democratic. It is repressive. It is  what drove the workers in Poland to rise up and form their free, independent trade union, Solidarnosc.

Is that the road that Ross and his shadowy backers are wanting to choose? The road to  State suppression of workers?

If so, Mr Ross, be warned. People will only take so much before they fight back. Hard.

This blogger congratulates Mr Dunne on his sense of fairness, and hopes he will not cave to pressure from National ministers or employers.


Thumbs up




Previous related blogpost

Surveillance laws, Strikebreaking, & Subversive groups



= fs =

  1. K
    22 June 2013 at 1:41 pm

    We are hearing increasing stories in the media of workers being abused. Surely this is the worst time (assuming there is ever a good time) to introduce this legislation.

    Good on Dunne!

  2. 24 June 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Hopefully the bill will not pass if Dunne votes against it.

    • Priss
      25 June 2013 at 3:28 pm


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