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Government bringing fairness back to industrial relations

Press Release – Rail And Maritime Transport Union

Changes to employment law announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today are a significant rollback of the previous governments unfair and unbalanced attacks on workers rights, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.Changes to employment law announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today are a significant rollback of the previous government’s unfair and unbalanced attacks on workers’ rights, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

“We’re delighted to see the government taking action so early in the year to rectify the damage done to workers and good employers by the National government,” says Wayne Butson, general secretary of the RMTU.

“Everyone benefits when the people doing the frontline jobs and their bosses are able to work together on equal terms and treat each other with dignity and respect. Basic protections like minimum rest breaks and making sure employers can’t just walk away from bargaining – like we’ve experienced recently – are essential.”

RMTU members in particular welcome the strengthening of Multi Employer Collective Agreements, which National had allowed employers to simply opt out of.

“Ensuring that people doing the same jobs across the industry are treated equally and paid fairly will deliver huge benefits for our members and their communities,” says Wayne Butson.

“Good employers will welcome these changes because it stops them being undercut by cowboys who use exploitation and bullying to drive down working conditions and safety.”

While the changes announced today are welcome, they are only a start.

“We look forward to the government building on this foundation over the next three years and ensuring every worker in New Zealand gets a fair deal and a voice at work,” says Wayne Butson.

The RMTU represents more than 4,600 workers in rail, roading and ports.

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