National’s policy on “Employment Relations” has all the language of the days of the Cold War – it’s going to ruin us; it’s taking us back to the bad old days, there will be strikes on the waterfront, unions will be in control, blah, blah, blah.
They devote a whole page to Labour’s plan to lift wages (and at least Labour has a plan). They try to position it as a return to 1970’s industrial relations, with a whole lot of rubbish about strikes and awards. Most people can hardly remember that far back, but we do know that New Zealand wages are too low and something works better across the ditch – and guess what? It’s a centralised wage fixing system, where wages are set by a Fair Work Commission – a system that goes well beyond the changes Labour is proposing.
Try telling an Aussie worker they have a 1970′s industrial relations system and wait for the snorts of derision – and the 100,000 plus New Zealand workers who’ve gone for good to work in Australia because the wage gap is now 38% . All they know is National has no plan.
My favourite bit of the policy is this, written by the National Party Cold War Propaganda Unit (aka Steven Joyce) :
(Labour will ) “Choke the economy by reinstating 1970s national awards and create a bureaucracy to centrally fix wages – a step back in time by more than 30 years, and a recipe for strikes and industrial action. In times like these, the last thing we need is an economy controlled by a small cadre of union leaders.
Cadre? That is so funny. All that tells me is that National is completely out of touch with the New Zealand of today, where the majority of Zealand union members in New Zealand are women, working in public services, health, education and the community services sector.
Nek minnet : Dancing Cossacks.