Not content with letting rising unemployment and spending cuts undermine the wages of working New Zealanders, National is planning a new major attack on their work rights.
According to One News, Key’s government is planning to extend the 90 day no-rights legislation to all New Zealanders and deny them the right to access their representatives in the workplace.
And the rumour is there’s more to come including a move to limit workers’ right to justice by reducing their (already limited) rights to take personal grievances.
This will mean that anyone starting a new job will have no rights for three months. That’s three months in which they’ll be able to be fired for anything without the need for an employer to give a reason.
Think about that.
If you start a new job and your employer decides they don’t like your religion, your desire to join a union, who you’re friends with, the fact you won’t work unpaid overtime or anything else they feel like they can sack you.
And there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it.
Take, for example, Amy Jewitt who was working for overland shoes in Te Pahu who was told she had to wear expensive shoes from the store she worked in but refused because it would have taken the bulk of her part-time pay.
What happened when she refused?
The Manager told Ms Jewitt that she is on a three month probation period and by not wearing the shoes she was not committed to the job.
But it’s not just new workers who will feel this because workers with no rights have no bargaining power and that means the extension of this no-rights law will see even more downward pressure on all wages.
The attack on worker representation will do the same because wages in New Zealand are pulled up by union members.
As I wrote just yesterday, there’s been a lot of pressure on Key to let the dogs off the leash – and with the election just 12 months away and big donations flagging I’m picking this big gift to business is about loosening the purse strings.
And it’s every working Kiwi that will pay the price.