Thursday, 7 August 2008

Rumblings of industrial unrest spark warnings for National

by Matt McCarten from NZ Herald 3 August 2008
Something is stirring among the workers. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but if National does win the next election I don't think it will share the same passive relationship Labour's had with New Zealand's working poor. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the fact Labour introduced four weeks' annual leave, effectively abolished youth rates, brought in the Working for Families package, raised the minimum wage by $3 in the last term and generally gave workers more legislative protections. But it seems although the economy is weakening, workers' expectations are not. Employers have had a great couple of decades in which industrial power has been in their favour. It's been up to the current Government to pass pro-worker policies, largely with the support of the Greens, Maori and New Zealand First parties.

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