6a should go

July 25th, 2013 at 11:38 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Cleaners converged on Parliament this afternoon to protest against proposed changes. 

Beating red buckets with wooden spoons, they chanted “Hands off 6a”.

The Government wants to scrap the clause, which protects low-paid workers when their job is restructured.

The demonstrators, mostly from the Service and Food Workers Union, handed over more than 2000 submissions to the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee on the proposed Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

Parliamentary cleaner Mareta Sinoti told the crowd of around 50 that scrapping the clause would cause “suffering”.

“We are cleaners, we work hard at a time when most people are at home with our families,” she said. “Few people ever see us at work, but when you come in the morning your offices are clean.

“We work hard on low wages … part 6a is the only job security we have.”

Part 6A ensures the jobs of vulnerable workers – like cleaners and caretakers, laundry staff, or hospital orderlies – are transferred to a new contractor on the same terms if a firm is restructured.

The current 6A is almost unworkable, and the Govt’s changes to it are fairly minor. What they should be doing is scrapping the clause alltogether.

If a company wins a contract through offering a better service or lower price, then they should not have any obligations to the staff of the company that lost the contract. That is how competition works. It also gives staff an incentive to make sure their employer stays competitive and quality.

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12 Responses to “6a should go”

  1. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    We have had one problem after another with useless cleaners who start out ok, but then the cleaning doesn’t get done, or doesn’t get done properly, and there is one excuse after another, it’s just hopeless.

    It is hard not to have sympathy for Mareta Sinoti’s words… but the reality is they are asking for a law that would provide guaranteed employment, one of the main benefits of a trade union but without the fees.

    No thank you, we need the ability to sack cleaners who are sh!t and don’t do the work, because a good many of them are like that.

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  2. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    The Nats. get rid of anti competitive Law. That will be the day.

    We mustn’t upset the voters. Most of whom never vote for them anyway.
    Weak as piss.

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  3. Griff (8,419 comments) says:

    ya gets what ya pays for
    save money get the cheapest cleaners you can just dont cry when they dont do the work up to the standard of those who are paid well.
    Good staff are mobile they can get jobs else where pay shit and you get …..shit

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  4. Michael (913 comments) says:

    Just encourages cleaning companies to game the system and offload poor performers onto competitors.

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  5. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Protectionist polices only end up protecting the failed,the stagnant,the poorest preforming and the inefficient. See the tariff laws NZ used to be burdened with before Douglas.

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  6. Sponge (268 comments) says:

    We had to sack a cleaning company recently because their staff were always rude, threatening looking and uncooperative to our clients in a Body Corporate. They did an ok (just) job with the cleaning and would not have been sacked for this alone. We then found that if we did sack them we would end up with the same assholes working at the building anyway. In what way does this make sense?

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  7. alwyn (439 comments) says:

    We shouldn’t scrap 6A completely.
    We should, instead, extend it to the staff in Minister’s offices at Parliament.
    Bring it in there so that, when Labour finally get their act together and can win an election, they are forced to retain all the staff employed by the National Government Ministers.

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  8. dime (10,215 comments) says:

    does any other country in the world have a law like this?

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  9. Sean (290 comments) says:

    We always see the cleaners at work. Its much cheaper for a company to have cleaners come in during regular office hours. Also easier to direct them to clean specific areas.

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  10. Manolo (14,173 comments) says:

    Did anyone spot BWAV, proud Pasifika man, among the protesters?

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  11. tas (655 comments) says:

    If you don’t want to lose your job, do it well. Don’t expect the govt to foist bad workers upon employers.

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  12. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    I assume 6a exists in a contract between the union and private employers. Then a government has no right to interfere.

    Nanny state?

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