MP for Maungakiekie
Industrial Action A Taste Of Labour: Vernon
"The recent union industrial action that has disrupted Auckland bus and plane commuters is a taste of what life would be
like under a Labour/Alliance government," said Maungakiekie MP Belinda Vernon today.
"Labour's industrial relations policy would see legalised strikes in pursuit of multi-employer contracts and union
dominated work sites. Under Labour it wouldn't be just the bus drivers striking, it would be everyone covered under the
transport workers union - we would see absolute gridlock."
"Since the Employment Contracts Act there has been a stunning decline in workplace conflict. Under 3 years of the Labour
more than 900,000 working days were lost compared to around 106,000 under the last 3 years of National. In dollar terms
lost wages totaled $100 million under Labour compared to $14 million under National. No one wants a return to the days
of costly strikes. Strikes cost union members money."
"Labour's industrial relations policy is designed to re-build the power base of the unions. The unions have
traditionally been Labour's support base. If Labour forms a government there is no doubt the unions will demand their
reward for loyalty.
"Labour's emphasis on union influence does not reflect the sentiment of New Zealanders. Since voluntary unionism was
introduced employees have been deserting unions. Today, less than 20% of employees are part of a union. The overwhelming
majority of employees have found strike-orientated unions are not necessary to negotiate positive terms and conditions
Ms Vernon concluded, "Labour needs to wake up to the fact that New Zealand workers want to work, not get involved in