Labour scores own goal with employment dispute issue

  • Bill English
Treasurer

Labour's efforts to score a 'king hit' against the Government by highlighting a personal grievance payout by WINZ have turned into an own goal, Treasurer Bill English said today.

"All year Labour has highlighted stories of employees getting payouts.

"But this morning Steve Maharey admitted there is nothing in Labour's policies which will stop personal grievance claims. In fact, rather than tightening up the rules, Labour has campaigned hard on its intention to repeal the Employment Contracts Act so that employees will have more rights.

"There is no way unions would agree to employees losing the right to take personal grievance claims - especially if 40% of a left-wing Cabinet were unionists.

"The cases Labour has highlighted have all been in the public sector. Labour should tell New Zealand how it is going to stop public servants taking personal grievances. Or is Labour intending to write one piece of employment law for public servants, and another for everyone else?

"Far from being the 'king hit' that Labour has been trumpeting for weeks, today's story is an own goal. It highlights the duplicitous nature of Labour's campaign on the ECA.

"Helen Clark herself has been caught out telling employers that nothing much will change while telling workers that everything will be different.

"Labour has always told two stories on the ECA and it's been caught out again this morning," said Mr English.