INDEPENDENT NEWS

Jeanette, Thank You For Your Offer

Published: Wed 26 Jul 2000 12:46 AM
Jeanette, Thank You For Your Offer
Dear Jeanette
Thank you for you letter of 26 July.
I do appreciate your invitation to dinner. Unfortunately I am committed to being back in Wellington on Friday night in order to fulfil a family commitment on Saturday which can't be rescheduled.
I am concerned at your suggestion that I am making a personal attack on you. I wish to assure you that you have quoted my speech correctly and I do not doubt that you are a sincere environmentalist.
What I do dispute is that the Green Party prior to the election indicated that it would support the extreme Employment Relations Bill.
Dr Michael Cullen on platforms where we both appeared publicly denied to business audiences that a Labour government would introduce a bill that would give trade unions a monopoly on collective wage bargaining, reintroducing de facto compulsory unionism. Indeed he claimed that Labour's proposals were just some "technical amendments to the Employment Contracts Act".
The Bill gives enormous power to the trade union movement. The clause that prevents a small business owner from making alternative arrangements to get round a strike has turned the strike into a lethal weapon.
None of these changes would be possible without the votes of the Greens. The overwhelming majority of those who made submissions requested the ability to comment on the coalitions' amendments to the Bill and this has been denied.
Instead with the support of the Greens the Bill is going to be rammed through parliament under urgency.
From the strong response I have received to faxes I have sent to businesses in the Coromandel, I do not believe that your electorate supports this extreme, pro-trade union industrial legislation.
I will be telling Coromandel voters that they are the only electorate that can stop this dangerous law.
I do urge you to put the interests of your electorate first and vote against the Bill.
Yours sincerely
Hon Richard Prebble CBE
LEADER, ACT NEW ZEALAND
ENDS

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