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25 Sep 2017 17:25
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  •   Home > News > Business

    Business wants assurance from Labour

    The business sector wants an assurance from Labour that it won't take New Zealand back to the bad old days of collective agreements, strikes and lockouts.

    13 September 2017

    The business sector wants an assurance from Labour that it's Fair Pay Agreements won't take New Zealand back to the bad old days of collective agreements, strikes and lockouts.

    Fair Pay Agreements are part of Labour's industrial relations policy and are set out on the party's website, but the explanation doesn't go into detail.

    BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope says Labour has said it will take a year to work out the details of the policy, but businesses need to know now what they would have to deal with under a Labour government.

    "What has been proposed is a substantial change to the framework that industrial relations have been conducted within for the last 30 years," he said on Wednesday.

    "Business would be concerned if the Fair Pay Agreements resembled National Awards which caused strikes and economic decline in the past."

    Labour's website explains the policy like this:

    "Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) will be agreed by businesses within an industry and the unions representing workers within that industry.

    "FPAs will set basic standards for pay and other employment conditions within an industry, according to factors including job type and experience.

    "By setting a floor, FPAs will prevent the 'race to the bottom' seen in some industries, where good employers are undercut by some bad employers who reduce labour costs through low wages and poor conditions.

    "FPAs will create a framework for fair wage increases where good employers are not commercially disadvantaged for doing the right thing.

    "FPAs will cover all employees and workplaces within the relevant industry. Negotiations on FPAs will begin once a sufficient percentage of employers or employees within an industry call for one.

    "This threshold and the precise implementation of FPAs will be developed in government in consultation with all stakeholders."


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