Cullen Cracks Over Employment Relations

  • Roger Sowry
Leader of the House

"Labour's Deputy Leader, Dr Michael Cullen, lost control of himself and was removed from the House today following robust questioning of Labour's industrial relations policy," Leader of the House, Roger Sowry, said.

"Under pressure from the Government Dr Cullen snapped and flew into a rage.

"This is not the first time that Parliament has been subjected to oafish behaviour from Dr Cullen following pressure from the Government.

"But, if he thinks things are tough in opposition, I can assure him they are much tougher on the Treasury benches. His behaviour today must cast doubt on his ability to handle the many pressures of Government.

"Dr Cullen's rage followed a quite legitimate attempt by the Government to probe Labour's industrial relations policies.

"But, during this discussion Dr Cullen's behaviour was so appalling, childish and offensive he was suspended from the service of the House and ejected.

"Frankly, I am disgusted by Dr Cullen's behaviour. It is totally unbecoming of a Parliamentarian.

"The Evening Post today reported that the Employers' Federation had studied Labour's industrial policy and had concluded that "under Labour industrial relations policy, only union members will be able to strike. Non-union members won't have the protection of collective contracts so they won't be able to strike if they have a dispute with their employer".

"Labour's policy appears to be one of using threatening, stand over tactics to take New Zealand back to the bad old days of de facto compulsory union membership and unions controlling the workplace.

"That's something New Zealanders should know about," concluded Mr Sowry.