This policy is so backwards, so appalling and so one-sided I don’t even know where to start. It is clear that the unions have written this, because they have got everything they could think of. The policy is here.
- A 15.3% increase in the minimum wage, including for youth.
- Labour will appoint those union bosses who fail to make their caucus to a new Workplace Commission that will have the power to determine Industry Standard Agreements for entire industries – unionised or not. This is all but a return to the days of national awards. No employer and employee will be able to agree to terms less than those set out by the Workplace Commission
- The Workplace Commission will be able to set a standard for an industry for “union rights”. This could mean anything, from employers forced to fund unions themselves directly to guaranteed access to any workplace at anytime for recruitment purposes.
- The Government will fund unions (“provide resources”) s they can better understand the new law and “build capacity for negotiations”. This means hire more staff. The same staff who come election time turn out en masse for Labour putting up their hoardings, using union vehicles etc etc. This is Labour’s backdoor funding of itself.
- Workers who are not in unions will be “provided with information and advice about joining the relevant unions”
- Will repeal the 90 days laws, despite the evidence that 40% of those hired under it would not have had job offers without it
- Labour will legislate to allow contractors to collectively bargain, as the Australian actors union demanded. Goodbye Wellington and NZ film industry. They really are Hobbit haters.
- State agencies will be told to blacklist companies who tender for work if they are seen as anti-union (‘not respecting the right of their employees to join a union”)
This is their worst policy, by far. The unions are getting their payback for their many donations to Labour – not just money, but especially of personnel and buildings and vehicles. Remember many of the unions are actual affiliate members of Labour, so the more employees they push into union membership the more money Labour gets from those unions in membership subs. This policy is all about appeasing the union masters.
I never thought I would see the day that a party (other than Mana) would effectively propose a return to national awards. Here’s what those good old days looked like:
The only good thing about the policy, is it should send Labour down in the polls further. The Roy Morgan poll out today has just had them drop to 28%.