Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Labour actually achieves something!

Well, it finally happened: two years into its term, the Labour government finally achieved something:

The Fair Pay Agreements Bill has passed its third reading in Parliament, with the support of Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori.

The bill provides a framework for collective bargaining across occupations - like cleaners, supermarket workers and security guards - rather than just between unions and employers.

Negotiations with employers could be initiated by 1000 employees or 10 percent of the workers under the proposed coverage.

Once that happens, a union representing workers in that industry would be tasked with taking on negotiations and employers would be represented by a business interest group.

As ought to be obvious from the vicious reaction of National and ACT against it, this is good legislation, which will make a serious difference to the lives of ordinary working people. Or at least, it will if it sticks around. But Labour has made such a mess of this term that instead it looks like it will be immediately repealed by the hard-right ACT/National government which is currently on-track to replace them. Given a perfect opportunity to enact change - the first single majority government in 30 years - they instead squandered it entrenching the status quo. And by doing so, they gave up any chance of establishing a new, popular normal, any chance of bringing people with them. Not to mention any chance of giving people something to vote for, rather than just something to vote against. And they have no-one to blame for this but themselves.

What a waste.

Still, at least we got this out of it.