Friday, March 09, 2007

Blatantly illegal

Auckland's Burning highlights the case of a group of Auckland hotel workers fired because there were members of a union. In case anyone wasn't aware, this is blatantly illegal conduct. Section 104 of the Employment Relations Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace both on the grounds specified in the Human Rights Act or on the basis of "involvement in the activities of a union". This explicitly includes cases where an employer

dismisses that employee or subjects that employee to any detriment, in circumstances in which other employees employed by that employer on work of that description are not or would not be dismissed or subjected to such detriment.

The union has commenced legal action to protect its members, and hopefully their former employer will be taken to the cleaners over this.

(Hat tip: Span)


Are you sure you are correct about this? My understanding was that they staff were employed by a separate company that had the contract to manage what ever it was that they were doing for the hotel. They were not employed by the Hotel but the contracting company. That contracting company lost the contract for the work so the were laid off as there was no longer any work for them to do. Some of the workers were hired directly by the Hotel to do the work that had been done by the contracting company.

Hence the Hotel never fired them, they were fired by the contract company and hired by the hotel. So the hotel cannot by done over because they have not rehired or fired anybody.

Could be wrong but that how it looked to me.

I don't think there is a law about not hiring union workers?


Posted by Sb : 3/10/2007 09:59:00 AM

SB: You are mistaken. It is the new contractor which fired them, not the hotel. Under s69I of the ERA, if there is a nominal change of contractor, then they are deemed to be automatically employed by the new one. The law exists precisely to protect people's jobs against this sort of contracting out.

There is no law requiring the hiring of union workers: the law forbids discrimination on the basis of union membership in employment matters, just as it forbids discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexuality or religion. So, you can't fire or refuse to hire someone because they are a member of a union, any more than you can fire or refuse to hire them because they are Maori of Christian.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/10/2007 10:15:00 AM

Ah very poor reporting from wherever I read the info then. Can't remember where it was.


Posted by Sb : 3/10/2007 08:08:00 PM