New Zealand Labour Party

Cotton On first to test the tea breaks law

Australian corporate Cotton On, the first major business operating in New Zealand to exploit the new tea breaks law, could walk away from negotiations if it doesn’t get its own way, says Labour Party Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. 

“Cotton On has lodged a belated claim to reduce tea break arrangements to the bare minimum required in law during collective bargaining with FIRST Union members. 

“John Key told Kiwis who work for a living that their tea breaks would not be taken away from them by the law change. Yet at the very first opportunity, we see a large employer trying to claw back their staff’s right to a break. 

“John Key also told us that the law change was about supporting small New Zealand businesses. Yet the first to take advantage of it is a wealthy Australian corporation. 

“And John Key said that industries such as hospitality and air traffic control were the ones that needed the law change. Yet people working in retail with predicable customer demand are the first to be hit. 

“The provision of tea breaks will now be a matter of bargaining between Cotton On and its unionised employees. Let’s hope the company doesn’t use  another change to employment law and walk out of bargaining if it doesn’t get its own way,” says Iain Lees- Galloway.