Friday, March 06, 2009

National dumps on workers again

Just before the election, Labour introduced the Employment Relations Amendment Bill (No 3), aimed at increasing protections for casual workers and those in "triangular" employment relationships (where they are technically employed by one party, given day-to-day direction and in practice employed by another). While a minor fix, it would have improved conditions for thousands of New Zealand's most vulnerable workers. But according to the latest Order Paper, National has just discharged it. The only reason to do this is that they want the abuses permitted under the old legislation to continue.

And that's National in a nutshell: anti-worker. They oppose gender equality in the workplace, they oppose stopping employers from circumventing the minimum wage by calling people "contractors" rather than employees, and now they oppose basic protections for the working poor. There's a deep clash here with basic kiwi values of fairness - but then, they don't represent ordinary kiwis, do they?