Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day, and we might actually see some Member's business for once. While there are two local bills at the top of the Order Paper, they will at most occupy only three hours of the four allotted - meaning that the House will finally be able to move on to the Committee Stage of Tau Henare's Employment Relations (Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill. That bill is likely to be controversial - not because it requires ballots (this is merely a formalisation of current practice), but because it will allow employers to challenge the internal decision-making processes of unions and thereby undermine strike action (no such rules will apply to employers and shareholders about lockouts, of course). In a time of increasing employer militancy, its another tipping of the scales in their direction, and another erosion of employment rights in New Zealand.

There's four more Second Readings on the Order Paper, which will take a while to get through. So we're not likely to see a ballot for new bills any time soon.