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National’s economic strategy underpinned by attacks on workers rights

Date of Release: 
Monday, September 15, 2014

The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union.

National’s proposed employment law reforms includes removing the duty to conclude collective agreements, repealing the 30-day rule, letting employers opt out of multi-employer collective agreements and cutting workers’ breaks.

“Since they took office six years ago the National Party immediately started cutting workers rights,” said FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

“Now, with Bill English admitting the Party has no new ideas to boost economic growth, it’s becoming clear that attacks on worker rights are a core part of their economic strategy,” said Robert Reid. “Their own documents even tell them these reforms will drive down wages.”

“They know these reforms are unpopular with most voters, which is why they’ve waited this long in the campaign before releasing the policy. It’s the same reason they shelved the reforms until after the election: because even they knew that hacking away at the rights of workers would kill their chances of re-election.”

“This election the parties of the left have been accused of bribery to win votes in the form of social spending. At the same time the government is throwing bribes to businesses, by rolling back the rights that protect workers’ lives and livelihoods.”

“An economic strategy based on attacking workers rights will not address the poverty and inequality that have defined this election. We need an end to this stone age economics, and a government that puts workers first.”

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