Govt set stage for looming Air NZ strike chaos

Published: Wed 12 Dec 2018 03:01 PM
Scott Simpson - Workplace Relations and Safety
12 December 2018
The Government did its utmost to provoke union unrest this year and deserves blame for the planned Air New Zealand engineers strike that will likely disrupt Christmas travel for some 100,000 Kiwis and their families, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Scott Simpson says.
“The Government has empowered the union movement through legislation and made a call to action to the unions by saying now is the time to fight for higher pay. It is no surprise we’ve had the worst year for strikes in three decades with worse promised for 2019.
“Some would say it is ironic that Air New Zealand workers will round out the year of strikes given the Prime Minister held up the airline as an exemplar of good industrial relations.
“It isn’t good enough that she ‘hopes’ the strike will be called off or for Iain Lees-Galloway to say he has ‘empathy’ for families disrupted in the run-up to Christmas.
“The Workplace Relations Minister has arrogantly brushed away the concerns of people forced to cope with disruptions to schools, hospitals, justice services, the IRD and ACC, commuter buses and trains, council services and more.
“The Air New Zealand engineers are seeking to maximise the disruption caused by threatening to strike during three of the airline’s busiest days. It is lucky Santa Claus makes his own travel arrangements.
“The Labour-led Government is to blame for the number of disruptive strikes this year, imposing laws that give statutory authority to the unions, make our workplaces less flexible, drive up costs and make it harder for businesses to create new jobs.
“National believes economic and productivity growth are the best ways to drive up wages and create employment opportunities. We will reverse this Government’s employment law changes and focus on a sensible economic growth strategy that gives all Kiwis more opportunities.”

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