Saturday, 29 November 2008

Workers must be protected during recession, not exploited - Maori Party

Media release Hon Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru 28 November 2008 The crisis of global capitalism is no excuse for business to exploit workers, according to the Maori Party. Te Tai Hauauru MP and Party co-leader Tariana Turia was responding to reports that Business New Zealand has urged the government to restrict employees’ rights, cut back recognition of unions, privatise ACC and limit environmental protections. “The Maori Party strongly opposes this response to the global economic crisis,” said Mrs Turia. “An economic recession is no excuse to exploit workers, in order to protect the profit margins and lifestyles of business owners.” “Workers, as taxpayers, are stumping up with a $7 billion economic stimulus package to keep the economy going,” she said. “There is no way the Maori Party would support these measures, if the business sector is not prepared to stand alongside the workers who are helping them out.” “It is almost obscene to hear that business lobbyists are urging the government to use the economic situation as a smokescreen to attack workers’ rights. In my own electorate of Te Tai Hauauru, hundreds of workers have already been laid off as factories and mills have closed in Foxton, Feilding, Tokoroa and Putaruru. “Communities have been decimated, and Business New Zealand wants to make it easier for others to repeat this up and down the country. “We will get through the crisis if we stand together as a nation, but we face disaster if one sector attacks another because it cannot see past its own, limited self-interest,” said Mrs Turia.

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