Meal and rest breaks right taken away

The Government is pushing ahead with moves to gut workers’ rights to rest breaks, despite major opposition. The changes will remove the current legal right to a minimum  number of breaks and the length of their duration.

The National Distribution Union (NDU) is appalled at the removal of rights, after uncovering the story of workers at  North Shore factory who were given only five minutes in which to eat their lunch.

NDU General Secretary Robert Reid said that while those workers took industrial action to get proper breaks, the issue needed to be backed up in law. This was achieved in 2009, when guaranteed meal and rest breaks came into effect.

“Workers have only had these rights for a year. Now they are being taken away… on top of other proposed changes to employment law that will make it harder for workers to earn a decent income. Now workers are being told that their right to a decent break isn’t important anymore either,” said Robert Reid.

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