The Employment Relations Act Part 6A ensures that jobs are transferred to a new contractor, on the same terms, if a firm is restructured. It is one of the few protections that vulnerable workers have – workers such as the cleaners who protested at Parliament yesterday:
Cleaners protest employment law changes
Cleaners converged on Parliament this afternoon to protest against proposed employment law changes. Beating red buckets with wooden spoons they chanted: “Hands off 6a.”
The Government wants to scrap the clause of the Employment Relations Act, which protects low-paid workers when their jobs are restructured. …
Parliamentary cleaner Mareta Sinoti told the crowd, of about 50, scrapping the clause would cause “suffering”. … “We work hard on low wages … part 6a is the only job security we have.” …
Under the plans, announced in October, businesses with fewer than 20 staff will no longer have to keep on those employees. Labour Minister Simon Bridges says the bill will provide greater “fairness, flexibility and clarity” in employment law.
So what is Labour’s position?
Labour leader David Shearer and Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly also addressed the crowd. Shearer said Labour would repeal the changes if elected next year.
After the protest, he said there was “very little hope” the Government would listen. “Why pick on the most vulnerable? It’s a pretty mean and insensitive government that has to stick the boot in to the lowest paid workers in our country.”
Good to see Labour doing the right thing. They will have plenty of damage to repair when the Nats are gone, this is yet another item to add to the list.