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Unions are doing Government’s job

Unions are doing a better job of enforcing employment law than the Government’s own labour inspectors, says Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. 

“Statistics NZ data shows only 2.4 per cent of union members have no written employment agreement compared to 10.4 per cent of non-union members and 20 per cent of workers in forestry, fishing and farming.

“The best thing the Government can do to stop exploitative employers flouting the law is to encourage people to join a union. 

“Unfortunately National has done the exact opposite with a series of law changes designed to make it harder for unions to operate. 

“The only people that helps is exploitative employers. 

“It comes as no surprise that the industries with the lowest rate of union membership are forestry, farming and fishing. One in five workers in those industries has no written employment agreement. The work is dangerous, the pay is substandard and the labour inspectorate appears to have little influence over rogue employers. 

“Labour believes that workers should have a real choice to join a union and that collective employment agreements offer the best protection available. Labour will make ensuring that people get their basic working rights a priority in Government,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.