Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers.
In an open letter sent today (below) Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri says this mean-spirited legislation will take away tea-break entitlements and give employers the ability to walk away from collective bargaining.
“It will also remove the right for vulnerable workers in small businesses – many of whom are Māori – to be secure from redundancy and have their terms and conditions protected when the business is sold.
“Low wages in New Zealand will be driven down even further by these changes.
“We urge iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to join with Labour in standing up for the rights of their people,” Meka Whaitiri says.
Open letter to Iwi & National Maori Organisation Leaders
EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL 2013
29 October 2014
E ngā ringa raupā o te iwi Māori e rauhi ana i nga moemoeā o te iwi tēnā koutou katoa. Ka tahuri atu ngā whakāro ki ngā tini mate o tēnā marae, o tēnā marae huri noa. Kotahi tonu te kōrero mō rātou haere mai, haere.
Ka hoki mai ki ngā take o te wā, tēnā tātou katoa.
The Government is forging ahead with changes to take away many of New Zealanders’ rights at work.
This includes taking away tea-break entitlements. It is mean-spirited and will harm Kiwis who have unfair employers.
The bill includes provisions to erode;
· the right to bargain collectively across multiple employers in the same industry
· the right to collectively negotiated terms and conditions in the first 30 days of employment for non-union employees
· the right for vulnerable workers (many who are Māori) in small businesses to be secure from redundancy and have their terms and conditions protected when the business is sold
Kiwis are already underpaid compared to workers in other countries. These changes will further drive down wages.
As Iwi Leaders I urge you to join us in standing up for the rights of working New Zealanders, many of whom are Maori. We ask you to seek an urgent meeting with the Government to directly express your concerns.
As the Bill is set down for its third and final reading tomorrow your urgent response is paramount.