INDEPENDENT NEWS

Panic sets in

Published: Tue 9 Nov 1999 01:13 PM
The panic has set into the National Party. They have decided to pay newspapers to tell porkies about Labour's industrial relations policy, and to demonise the new CTU leadership.
Labour's industrial relations spokesperson Pete Hodgson said the panic began with Mrs Shipley's speech at Otira over the weekend.
"She labelled the new CTU president Ross Wilson an extremist, which is about as credible as labelling Richard Prebble a rationalist. However National has today continued the attack, this time through paid advertisements, and in doing so have demonstrated that panic has descended on National in a big way.
"The advert claims that under Labour unions will decide when and where people will work. That is a lie, pure and simple and people who tell blatant lies during an election are usually in melt-down. The statement is utterly indefensible. Labour's commitment to voluntary union membership and to a democratic ratification procedures means that decisions will rest with employees, not unions.
"The whole advertisement is riddled with innuendo that Labour supports secondary strikes, compulsory unionism, and other "reds under the bed" nonsense.
"National will not get any traction with this stuff. The Employers Federation have been pedalling it for months and have succeeded only in wasting their members' money.
"National should face the facts. The Employment Contracts Act lowers pay and conditions but fails to increase labour productivity. It is an extreme piece of legislation that has no role in a modern economy.
"Ask the workers of a fast food chain who have had a five percent cut in wages, or the workers of a home appliance centre who were, paradoxically, forced onto a collective contract only so they could be locked out. The Employment Contracts Act will go, early in Labour's first term."

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