A reader noticed a difference between National’s workplace policy as quoted by us and as quoted elsewhere.
We and some others have: “Continue to allow union access to workplaces with the employer’s consent.” taken from the PDF of the workplace policy.
While others have: “Continue to allow union access to workplaces with an employer’s consent, which cannot be unreasonably withheld.” taken from the press release of the policy
Important difference. Under current law, union access can only be reasonably withheld if it would “jeopardise national security or the investigation of offences”. If the second quote is the correct statement of National policy, that will remain the law. However, if the first quote is correct, the boss will be able to deny union access as they choose. That would obviously be a great union-breaking tool and bosses would be tempted to use it because a weak union or de-unionised workforce does not have the bargaining power to win good pay rises.
Our reader wrote to both Kate Wilkinson (the would-be Minister of Labour who has made no public comment on the detail of her party’s labour policy) and John Key, asking for clarification. That was last Thursday and no reply or even acknowledgment of receipt has been received. What a disgraceful way to treat concerned citizens (I should add our reader states he is a business owner, so his interests may be divergent to mine but he is appalled by the Nats’ failure to clarify this important discrepancy).
What this highlights is the ridiculous vagueness of the ‘policy’ releases National is making. We can’t even be sure whether union access will be dramatically curtailed, putting the ball entirely in the bosses’ court or will continue as is because two bullet-point statements disagree with each other and there’s no detailed material to clear up the issue. It’s beyond a joke when you can’t even rely on offical statements of National’s policy to be accurate.