News about the Economy & Employment

Life to get harder for zero hour workers

Employment law changes that take effect tomorrow will make life even harder for workers battling zero hour contracts, Labour‘s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“From tomorrow, it will be harder for working people to bargain collectively, harder to make sure new staff members get good terms and conditions and harder to take partial industrial action.

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National not being straight about the economy

John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.

“Dairy exports fell over 30 per cent compared to January last year, dragging total export value down by over nine per cent. This is a blow to a nation that relies on increasing export values to grow the economy, create jobs and boost wages.

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It was all just pillar talk

Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.

“Steven Joyce knew 14 months ago that SkyCity would refuse to build a world-class structure under the existing deal.

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Minister must take action on death trap slides

Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories of children falling metres from giant blow up slides scare all parents.

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‘One Dollar Bill’ on track to break promise

Government accounts released today show that Finance Minister Bill English remains on track to break his promise to New Zealanders of a meaningful surplus for the 2014/15 year, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Yesterday Bill English said a $1 surplus would represent job done for him in delivering on his promise of a meaningful Budget surplus. That is farcical, particularly when the Government accounts indicate that the country is in fact still heading for a deficit north of $300 million.

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‘One dollar Bill’s’ meaningful surplus

The Finance Minister has gained a new nickname – One Dollar Bill – by claiming $1 would be a meaningful surplus after six years and two election campaigns promising the books would be hundreds of millions of dollars in the black this year, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Bill English is so concerned that he will struggle to get the books out of the red this year he declared that a $1 surplus will be ‘meaningful’.

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Labour lodges bill to scrap zero-hour contracts

Labour is taking action against one of the most insidious attacks on vulnerable workers by today lodging a Member’s Bill against zero-hour contracts.

Certainty at Work Bill sponsor and Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says the spread of zero-hour contracts is a nasty result of the global financial crisis and the failure of Government to protect vulnerable workers.

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Five themes for Future of Work Commission

The Labour Party's Future of Work Commission will focus on five core themes critical to ensuring New Zealand takes the opportunities presented by the rapid changes in working life

Speaking today at the Future of Work Conference at the Auckland University of Technology, Chair of the Commission and Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson outlined the themes and structure of the Commission that will run over the next two years.

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Grant Robertson Speech to Future of Work Conference

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.  I want to particularly thank Tim and Gael, and the team at the Future of Work Programme for this, and for organising such an interesting programme.

Looking at the programme it is clear to me that I have much more to learn than to offer in terms of a discussion on the future of work.  It is heartening to see that there is so much work under way in New Zealand on the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly changing nature of work.  I look forward to the presentations.

But being a politician the opportunity to speak is like offering an addict their next fix, so I am pleased to be able talk to you today about the Labour Party’s Future of Work Commission.

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