The Maritime Union says it will fight to protect job security as the backlash grows against the National Government’s attempt to push through the “fire at will” bill before Christmas.
Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the attempt to rush through the 90 day “fire at will” bill through at a time of mounting unemployment and job insecurity is madness.
Mr Hanson says the Maritime Union would actively resist any attacks on job security by the Government or employers.
“In our industry and others, the insecurity caused by casual jobs and aggressive employers will be made worse by this law being dropped like a bomb in the middle of a recession. It’s just another pressure on working people and their families.”
He says many families where wage earners are starting new jobs will be left hanging in a state of fear for months as to whether they will have a secure income or not, at a time when many families are already facing redundancy and financial hardship.
Mr Hanson says there is no doubt the law will be manipulated by unscrupulous employers.
“What then happens is the worst employers gain an advantage over their competitors in the market, and it becomes a race to the bottom. This type of law rewards the employers who treat their workers the worst.”
“It’s obvious that what this law is about is creating a climate of fear and insecurity amongst workers. It takes away a workers right to defend their own and their families livelihood if they are stuffed around by the boss. It’s going to make a bad situation worse.”
Mr Hanson says there are hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders trapped in casual jobs, and the way the 90-day bill is being pushed through shows National still had the 1990s mindset of “putting the boot into workers at every opportunity.”
He says employers can already get rid of incompetent or dishonest employees by following a clear and fair process, so the new law had no purpose but to reduce the working conditions and legal rights of working New Zealanders.