E tū, the biggest private sector union in Aotearoa New Zealand, is shocked by the ACT Party’s new policy to stop workers being able to correct their employment status.
The policy, announced today, would mean that contracted workers would not be able to challenge their status in the Employment Court, even when the real nature of their employment relationship meant they should be entitled to the rights and protections employees get.
E tū Assistant National Secretary, Annie Newman, says this would be a huge setback for the workforce.
“We already know that employers use contracts instead of employment agreements unfairly – that’s why we have taken cases to court, and won,” Annie says.
“In 2017, labour hire workers at LSG Sky Chefs proved they were entitled to the benefits and protections of a normal employment relationship. Last year, Uber drivers proved in court that the company is really their employer, and they also deserve the rights of employees.
“While these court cases have been victories for the workers who have taken them, they have also shown the need for employment relations reform that better reflects the changing world of work.
“Instead, the ACT Party are proposing the opposite – locking workers into these exploitative arrangements without any recourse. It’s a terrible position that will bed in the worst outcomes for many people.”
Annie says this is just the latest policy from the Opposition that demonstrates their hostility to working people.
“ACT have also promised to end Fair Pay Agreements and bring back 90-day trials. They have opposed every increase to the minimum wage, opposed doubling sick leave, and even oppose moves to make wage theft a criminal offence.
“These are disastrous positions that will worsen poverty and inequality. Working people in Aotearoa have a lot at stake this election – we must stop politicians from actively pushing us down.”