Will NZ First defend provincial employers

Richard Harman reports:

POLITIK understands that NZ First wants the right of employers to opt out of MECAs restored.

However, it is apparently prepared to compromise and have the right limited to provincial employers.

Some employers exempted is better than none, but you can’t really have employment law that discriminates based on where your business is located.

One political source told POLITIK that the dispute between Labour and NZ First over this could turn into a real “shit fight”.

Well if NZF roll over, they will struggle even more to make 5%.

In a lengthy and detailed submission to the Select Committee, the Council of Trade Unions said the ability of employers to opt out contravened International Labour Organisation conventions and was partly responsible for the decline in union coverage of workers in New Zealand.

So this isn’t about workers. It is about increasing union membership which in turns increases their finances and allows them to donate more to Labour or campaign for them.

This is why Labour won’t back down.

The Auckland Employers and Manufacturers’ Association in their submission complained that forcing multiple employers into what would in effect be a national award ignored the different characteristics of running a business in regional New Zealand compared with Auckland.

“There are many significant geographical differences within New Zealand, “ their submission said.

“Thus rates and conditions for Auckland are profoundly different to Southland.

“If a MECA was agreed to the employer in Southland would be disadvantaged in having to pay Auckland rates and conditions.

“The cost of running a business in Southland is significantly different from the costs of running a like business in Auckland.

Yep. It punishes smaller employers by forcing them to agree to the same conditions as large employers in large cities.

But if you think this is bad, wait until Labour tries to bring back national awards.

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