Labour Opposition "Out of Touch"- Bradford

  • Max Bradford

Labour Minister Max Bradford today said the Labour Opposition's reaction to the Coalition Government's industrial relations reforms shows just how out of touch the Labour Party really is with the modern environment of Coalition Government.

"Just like a good marriage, there are times when partners make compromises. This is reality, not defeat.

"Labour has been making hysterical claims about the Government's Labour reforms for months based on no knowledge of what was being considered. This is evident given the fact that many aspects of the planned changes to the Holidays Act and Employment Contracts Act have been welcomed by the unions," Mr Bradford said.

"Labour's Industrial Relations Spokesperson Pete Hodgson is out of touch with his own party and does not understand the package, unlike his colleague Lianne Dalziel who today put out a statement welcoming the proposed changes to the Employment Contracts Act.

"The fact that neither side of the industrial fence is entirely happy with the full
package probably shows the Government has got it about right."

Mr Bradford said the Government had consulted widely and carefully considered a wide range of views before making its decisions.

"In relation to the Holidays Act and tradeability of some holidays for cash, the Government put forward four options for public consultation ranging from the status quo (no tradeability) to tradeability of the 11 public holidays and one week's annual leave," Mr Bradford said.

"The Government never expressed a view on which option it favoured. The National Caucus and the Cabinet believed there was considerable benefit for employees have the right to exchange their public holidays for cash (Option 2) at their choice, but it was not to be because a majority of the New Zealand First Caucus could not agree to the proposal. Therefore, the status quo remains on this aspect. Like it or not, that is the reality of the Coalition Government."