National announced their Labour laws today, rolling back all the improvements brought in by the fifth Labour government. There were some new sanctions on workers’ right to strike: parties will have to provide notice of a strike, and employers will have a new right to fine workers for “partial strikes” – go-slows and the like.
Also today, by coincidence, the Herald’s Insider reports business reaction to Labour’s plan to lower power prices for families and households, and invokes the threat of capital strike by business, posed as a threat to a democratically elected government’s right to govern.
David Shearer and David Parker should have a chat to Helen Clark and Michael Cullen about when Labour was last in power. At that time the government faced the threat of a capital strike over much milder policy changes and had to tone them down. Politicians not only have to win elections, but they also have to govern…
If National’s labour laws are about improving fairness, as Simon Bridges asserts, then capital strikes should surely face the same constraints as worker strikes. There should be advanced written notice to the public by all those companies intending to conduct a capital strike, and ten percent of the annual income of companies participating in the capital strike should be payable to the Government as a penalty for the harm they do to the community.
I’m not holding my breath.