- Date published:
11:45 am, June 30th, 2017 - 43 comments
Categories: class war, poverty, spin, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: employment relations, panic, policy, spin, the sky is falling
In shocking news, it turns out that employers don’t like Labour’s new employment relations package. They (and the usual suspects) are running lines about a return to the 1970s:
Strikes every Xmas under Labour, claims Judith Collins
‘One-size-fits-all’ workplace policy doesn’t cut it for employers
Labour’s industrial relations policy slated
And of course the dirty politics blogs in lock step:
Labour’s 1970s style industrial relations policy
Labour’s 1970’s style Industrial Awards
Must be good policy then! Scaremongering about the worst aspects of National/Muldoon’s 1970s is just that, we live in a very different world today. But let’s just recall that the 1970s had their good points too.
Workers’ share of the country’s wealth was higher.
Productivity gains were more evenly shared.
Poverty was lower.
Inequality was lower.
Workers had more rights.
Sounds awful, right?
I don’t have time to write this up properly right now, but here are just a few snippets. Please feel free to add your own sources in comments, I might write this up better one day.
Inequality increased sharply with the neoliberal reforms of the late 80’s – early 90’s. From the Treasury report Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14.
It appears that the 1980s reforms – involving cuts in the top income tax rate along with benefit cuts and the ending of centralised wage setting [i.e. the ECA] – are associated with increasing inequality.
Worker’s share of the country’s wealth:
And of course, what productivity gains there are never seem to filter through to workers:
Strong unions help!