The Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU), the union representing low-paid workers in cleaning, catering, caregiving, hospitality and
food says that the Employment Relations Bill (ERB) will help restore some of the wrongs of the past few years.
Supporting the Council of Trade Unions in their submission to the Employment and Accident Insurance Legislation
Committee today, Darien Fenton says that the SFWU supports the Bill because it will bring some fairness and balance back
into New Zealand workplaces.
"The Employment Relations Bill is not a union wish-list as some claim and in fact we will be raising some specific
concerns during the Select Committee process," says Ms Fenton. "But the Bill does require all employers to respect the
choice of their workers to form and join unions and to enter collective bargaining in good faith. That will make a big
difference for the workers that SFWU represents."
"What has been happening to workers under the Employment Contracts Act is just plain wrong", says Ms Fenton. "Having a
free choice to join a union is recognised around the world as a basic human right, but the Employment Contracts Act
helped undermine that choice by enabling employers to use fear, intimidation and interference.
Rights and freedoms have disappeared from many New Zealand workplaces as employers have exploited the Employment
Contracts Act to the disadvantage of thousands and thousands of workers."
The government has a mandate to repeal the Employment Contracts Act and low-paid workers are delighted that this is a
government that keeps its promises," Ms Fenton said.
For further information telephone SFWU National Secretary, Ms Darien Fenton, on 025 360 089 (mobile).
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