Wednesday 20 October 2010

Government Committee calls 90 day law offensive – but only when applied to John Key

Media Release from the National Distribution Union
October 20, 2010
Embargoed until 1pm, October 20

The National Distribution Union is disgusted with a letter sent to one of its retail worker members by the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.

General Secretary Robert Reid says the letter from the committee described her submission as “offensive” but all it did was suggest that the same rules apply to the Prime Minister as to workers.

The “offending” words that the retail worker wrote in her submission were:

“Can we put John Key on a 90 day trial and sack him after the 89th day?”

The letter back to her from the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee of Parliament stated:

“The committee considered your submission at a meeting on 6 October 2010 and decided that your added comments were offensive and therefore did not formally receive your submission.  The committee is therefore returning your submission which is attached.”

“This says it all,” Robert Reid says.

“The Government is perfectly happy to pass a law that will put all workers, other than MPs, on a 90 day trial period, but is offended if one of those workers suggests the same law apply to the Prime Minister.

“The letter is heavy handed and threatening and not the sort of reply that a worker making her first ever submission to parliament should receive.  So much for democracy and freedom of speech.”

Mr Reid says the worker who wrote the submission was not a member of the NDU at the time she wrote it.  However on receiving the reply from the Select Committee, she immediately joined the NDU and will continue to campaign against the Bill.

Members of the NDU will be participating in the range of CTU coordinated actions around the country today to protest at the proposed employment law amendments.

Contact: Robert Reid (021) 535 933.

Note to editors:

Robert Reid will be referring to this letter in his speech to the Auckland protest meeting against the Employment Relations and Holiday Act amendments at Telstra Clear Stadium in Manukau at 1.00 pm today, Wednesday 20 October 2010.

Bill Bradford
Media Liaison
National Distribution Union
09 622 8439
021 856 074

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