Labour is being pressed for detail on its “Fair Pay Agreement” policy which business fears could lead to national industry-wide strikes.
Labour’s industrial relations election policy says: “Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) will be agreed by businesses within an industry and the unions representing workers within that industry. FPAs will set basic standards for pay and other employment conditions within an industry, according to factors including job type and experience.”
FPAs are an Owellian name for national awards. It will be a return to de facto compulsory unionism and will mean an employer in Gore and an in employer in Auckland may be treated the same.
But Business NZ and National’s Steven Joyce called for Labour to explain to the electorate exactly how the policy would work, and whether it threatened the prospect of entire industries going on strike should FPA negotiations break down.
It would be like the 1970s again – entire industries on strike.
Kirk Hope from Business New Zealand said: “Pan-industry awards have been part of Labour policy at least since 2011, so it is concerning that there is a lack of detail around how the policy might work in practice.
Who needs detail!
“The Fair Pay Agreements policy would be the largest systemic change promoted by any party this election.
“It’s important that it receives more scrutiny and debate in the run-up to the election.”
“There would be grave concerns if one of the outcomes of Fair Pay Agreements was widespread frequent industrial action,” Hope said.
The policy is designed to force more people to fund unions so that unions can provide more funding to Labour.