More than 12,000 submissions have been received by the clerk of the Transport & Industrial Relations Select Committee on changes to labour laws – and they’re still counting. Some will be from employers, but the vast bulk are from workers who are justifiably worried. The proposed changes are being spun by Minister of Labour Simon Bridges as being “a series of minor amendments to improve it, to, I think, yes, even up the balance somewhat for employers, because I think we did go too far in the favour of unions.But I think it’s nevertheless moderate, pragmatic law change.”
These changes to our workplace laws are far from moderate. They will have a chilling effect on the right of workers to join together in collective bargaining, already seriously weakened in the 1990′s and not recovered since. The gap between Australian and Kiwi wages has grown, income inequality is the largest ever with the gap between rich and poor as bad as any nation’s. It’s well known (and acknowledged by the IMF, OECD and numerous commentators on low wages and inequality) that where collective bargaining declines, so do wages and conditions for everyone.
The Select Committee will be very busy in the next few months hearing from submitters. Hearings start on the 22 August.
If you want up to date information, please like and share Labour’s Facebook page – Standing Up For Workers. We will provide up to date information about the select committee hearings, meetings and rallies, what people are saying and how the National Party is trying to spin what are very significant law changes that will have an impact on everyone – workers, families, kids, communities and Kiwis everywhere.