Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, April 27th, 2013 - 4 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, employment, john key, national, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: race to the bottom, wages
In February 2008 Key ignited one of his first media storms with his comment at a business meeting that “we would love to see wages drop”. Subsequent events had all the hallmarks of what we now recognise (from too many examples) as classic Key crisis management strategy. There was the claim of memory lapse. There was the flimsy cover story. There was the aggressive attack on the media (leading to an unprecedented protest by Herald journalists).
Despite Key’s denials the erosion of wages began, of course, from ridiculous stuff like taxing kids with paper rounds, to the subtly undermining effects of youth rates. The anti-worker employment Bill announced yesterday is the centerpiece of the strategy, massively weakening collective bargaining, a sure-fire way of bringing down wages.
15 Repealing the 30-day rule will provide employers with more flexibility on what they are able to offer new employees as their starting terms and conditions of employment. It will enable employers to offer individual terms and conditions that are less than those in the collective agreement.
Our low wages are marketed by National as a “competitive advantage”. Thanks to their anti-worker policy we’re going to be even more competitive – in the race to the bottom.