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Goff: Creating Fear In Workplaces Will Not Make Kiwis Better Off

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Goff
Phil Goff

Stripping away the rights of wage and salary earners will drive down wages and do nothing to raise the living standards of most New Zealanders, Labour Leader Phil Goff says. "New Zealand needs a high wage, high-skill economy. But National's 90-day 'fire at will' Bill takes away protections for working people that will drive us towards lower wages and conditions," Phil Goff said.

"That won't make Kiwis better off. Prices are already running ahead of wages, and the jobs aren't there, but National is reducing protection for wage and salary earners.

"This draconian and unnecessary law makes a mockery of John Key's number one election promise to close the wage gap with Australia. That promise has turned into an embarrassment for John Key," Phil Goff said. "Labour supports the rights of employers to sack employees for misconduct or who aren't up to the job - that's why existing law allows this to happen already - but this law opens the door to abuse by bad employers. It will stigmatise unfairly sacked employees and make it even harder for them to find a job

"Most employers are fair and reasonable but it is not right or fair that under this law bad employers can arbitrarily sack a wage or salary earner in the first 90 days without having to give a reason or allow an employee to appeal the decision.

'That is why I will be rallying against this law at QE2 Square in Auckland tomorrow from 1pm and why Labour MPs will be voicing their opposition in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. "If a worker has to produce a doctor's note for a single day off work, what happens when the doctor can't see you the day you call in sick? Health officials are urging people to stay home if they get sick to help stop the spread of diseases like swine flu. But National wants you to struggle to the doctor or work. That doesn't make sense.

"At a time when unemployment is still on the rise, the Government making Kiwi workers even more vulnerable by extending its 90 day laws to all companies.

"New Zealand needs a stronger productive economy based on high wages and skills, not a low wage economy. You can't close the gap with Australia by running our wages down.

"Labour's plan for a stronger economy includes an increase in the minimum wage, fair employment laws, making the Reserve Bank provide better support for exports and jobs, and growing skills.

"Labour believes in building a stronger economy that works for all New Zealanders.

"That includes ensuring workplaces are fair places - where wage and salary earners can share the fruits of a strong economy," Phil Goff said.

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