Thursday, December 06, 2018


Last night Parliament passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act. The Act is disappointing, in that it only eliminates 90 day trials for large employers and restricts union access to workplaces. At the best, it returns the law to where it was before National's 2015 assaults on workers' rights. National is acting like that is the end of the world - in other words, that they presided over some left-wing hellzone for their first seven years of government - and that in itself is a reason to pass it. But I'd be lying if I said I was happy. A Labour government can and should do so much more than this on workers' rights. The realities of coalition and NZ First's reactionary nature meant that it could not, but that simply means that the law will be revisited if Labour is ever free of their shackles. Meanwhile, this has hopefully been a lesson to them about the value of potential coalition partners. In the past, they have chosen to partner with the reactionary NZ First party, and we can see where it has got them. If in the future they have such a choice again, then I hope they would do right by their supporters and choose a partner who won't kneecap them on this fundamental issue.