- Date published:
10:14 am, March 4th, 2015 - 61 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, national, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: campbell live, michael woodhouse, squeamish, zero hour contracts
I’ve seen family members on zero hour contracts and its no way to live. Campbell live (best journalism on TV) had a welcome focus on the issue yesterday:
Zero-hour contracts leave Kiwi families struggling
But there’s an entire industry in New Zealand paying minimum wage and less, because the workers they employ don’t even work a full week.
It’s called a zero-hour contract, and as an employee, you are called upon to work whenever required. That means if you’re not required, you don’t get paid that week – so how do these people survive?
Zero hour contracts are the logical end point of National’s agenda for employment legislation. Nats weaken employees’ rights at every turn in the name of workplace “flexibility”. From an employer’s point of view, zero hours is as flexible as it gets.
But of course the workers get screwed. There is a union campaign against zero hours, you can join the campaign here. With this and other media attention being focused on the issue, the Nats seem to be getting a bit squeamish. Workplace Relations & Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse was on Campbell Live last night:
Minister to zero-hour employers: Rethink your rosters
Mr Woodhouse’s solution is to take some help from the Government [WINZ], if you can get it.
He says he encourages employers to rethink their rostering practices.
Mr Woodhouse says that there will be changes to employment law this year and is “quite happy to introduce legislation into the House in the middle of the year that would prohibit the worst excesses of the [zero-hours] practices that we find”.
So National aren’t going to follow their employment policies to their logical conclusion? “Excesses” is a very interesting admission for the Minister to make. Let’s make sure we hold Mr Woodhouse to that promise.
Final word on last night’s interview to Helen Kelly:
Michael Woodhouse "We can't legislate for good employer practice". Ah. Yes you can. That is exactly what you can legislate for. #onejob
— Helen Kelly (@helenkellyUnion) March 3, 2015