Unions begin ‘name and shame’ campaign
A former pharmacy employee [Heather Smith] who said she lost her job as a direct result of the 90-day-trial employment law, is now appearing in an online campaign to push the unions’ cause. …
Smith’s is one of several stories of heartache and misery being rolled out in the aggressive campaign against the government’s new 90-day work trial scheme.
Currently the scheme is open only to businesses with fewer than 20 staff, but this week the government confirmed that the 90-day probation period would be extended to all companies.
Unions have been vocal about criticising the law, leading Prime Minister John Key to call on them to either “put up or shut up”. Now they are answering that challenge, by naming and shaming businesses that they say use the probation period to get rid of workers.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said businesses that had a problem with the campaign should raise it at the highest level. “The Prime Minister said ‘name and shame’ and if any employers have got a problem with what we’re doing, they can talk to him about that.”
However Key said the unions “have their own beef,” and that for the “one or two people they might showcase, there are hundreds of New Zealanders currently in work, as a result of the policy.”
Key has miscalculated badly. It will be more than “one or two people”. If the CTU is on the ball (and it looks like they are!) it will be a steady stream of heartbreaking stories, all the way to the next election. And personal stories, from people just like us, have a way of reaching out to public opinion much more effectively than dry discussions of policy or statistics. This is an excellent move from the CTU – bravo! Put human faces on the Tory attack on workers.
Here’s Heather Smith telling her story…