|Issue No 67||18 August 2000|
Hated Anti-Worker Law Junked
New Zealand's infamous Employment Contracts Act got junked this week with the creation of a new, more worker-friendly Employment Relations Act.
The new law was passed after parliament sat for almost 70 hours and considered more than 690 amendments to its 260-plus clauses as conservative parties filibustered to the very end.
The Act went through 66-54, with the Government winning the support of the Green Party.
Labour Minister and author of the Bill, Margaret Wilson, told the House it was difficult to express her emotions after almost a decade of fighting to overturn the Employment Contracts Act, and thanked unionists for their efforts.
The new law ad is due to come into force October 2.
Ross Wilson, President of the NZ Council of Trade Unions said unions are ready to take up the challenge of ensuring workers get fairer workplaces under the Employment Relations Act.
He said workers would be breathing a collective sigh of relief at the demise of the ECA.
"The Employment Relations Act provides the framework to achieve fairness in our workplaces. Unions will work with their members to ensure that fairness is delivered."
Ross Wilson said that workers expected a new era of industrial relations where they could achieve a better deal.
"The Employment Contracts Act represented everything that was unbalanced and unfair for workers. Today unions will move into a new era where we can focus on restoring respect, fairness and decent pay and conditions for New Zealand workers."
Interview: Slyly Selling the Silver
In their recently published book Privatisation, Sell-off? or Sell out? (ABC Books), Bob and Betty Walker took a long hard look at the major government asset sales of the last decade. Here they tell Workers Online what they've learnt.
Politics: Dysfunctional Society
Noel Pearson looks at the plight of Aboriginal people through a prism of class and comes up with a challenging perspective on Aboriginal welfare, law and order and the state of our society.
History: Money Power
Should the People or the Banks Rule? Reserve Bank Governor McFarlane thinks he knows the answer. Eddie Ward was pretty strongly of the opposite view when the ALP introduced the Commonwealth Banking Legislation in 1945.
International: Soccer Pro Tackles Nike
Olympic sponsor Nike is under pressure over its human rights record in the run up to the Sydney Games.
Frank Stillwell looks at the contradictory nature of the globalising economy and fears it is turning into a race to the bottom.
Satire: IVF Debate: Federal Government Tells Lesbians: "Get Fucked"
MELBOURNE, Monday: The Federal Court decision to allow single women and lesbians to use infertility treatment in Victoria has been attacked by the Federal Government, the Catholic Church and by pro-family community groups.
Review: Confessions Of A Union Buster
It's not a new tome but the threat for Australian Unions remains the same if not greater as when this book appeared five years ago.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005