The government has new attacks on workers in the pipelines: restrictions on union access to workplaces and an extension of the 90-day fire at will bill to more workplaces. Trade unions have come out strongly against this proposal. Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the restrictions on union access to workplaces was a serious attack on the right of New Zealand workers to organize. “National have now dropped any pretense of moderation in their policies – the phoney war is over and National’s agenda of tax cuts for the rich, privatization and now tearing up the basic rights of working people is out there for all to see.” More ] 

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson saiys “the Fire at Will law means that an employer doesn’t need to give any reason whatsoever for dismissing a worker. ‘Letting someone go’ can be the offensive euphemism for getting rid of a worker who stands up for their right to a safe workplace or wants to join a union.” 

What this means is that employers will be able to hire a new employee every 90 days, evading pay rises, holiday pay and sick leave, annual leave and all the other rights one has to earn through long term employment. Higher turnover means lower pay rates and more cash in the hands of the employers. And to add the icing on the cake they’ll stop anyone raising these concerns with the denial of workplace access (union or not).