CTU challenges Key at union conference

Finsec delegates were among those attending the Council of Trade Unions conference this week, to discuss how the union movement is adapting to today’s world and to changes in work and employment, how unions can develop their leadership and the offer they make to working people.

CTU President Helen Kelly challenged keynote speaker John Key and the National Government to set the tone for industrial relations in New Zealand to move the country away from the conflict and disruption of the current lockouts.

“The Government has created the climate where employer is king and thinks it can act accordingly,” said Kelly. “Government sets the tone in a country – if it promotes rights and respect, then employers and the broader community are more likely to follow suit.”

“We have seen a number of employers keen to use lockouts and suspensions in an environment of rising unemployment and Government attacks on worker rights.”

Kelly also criticised the Government’s attacks on ACC as an attack on the welfare of every New Zealander. “Nick Smith has a big agenda in mind – sack all those on the board that care about and understand the scheme, create a crisis that looks like you are saving the scheme, propose outrageous levy hikes and then save the day by cutting the entitlements and moving into privatisation.” She said the community was looking to unions for leadership on this issue and their fight for ACC would be a strong one.


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