The National Party’s 90 Day No-Rights Bill was finally defeated last week when Parliament voted it down on its second reading.
In the final vote, the bill was defeated 67-53, with National, United Future and ACT voting for the bill and Labour, the Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party voting against it.
If passed, the Bill which would have stripped workers of all employment rights for their first 90 days in a new job and left many of New Zealand’s workers vulnerable to exploitation.
EPMU National Secretary Andrew Little says the Bill’s intent was particularly vicious. “This was a callous attack on every New Zealand worker and I congratulate all those parliamentarians who had the good judgment to reject a piece of legislation that runs so contrary to Kiwi values of decency and fairness in the workplace.”
The EPMU and other unions campaigned against the Bill in a series of events culminating in major rallies in Auckland and Wellington earlier this year, when thousands of unionised workers and their supporters turned out at Parliament, Aotea Square and around the country to voice their anger at National’s attack on their rights.
However, the battle may have to be fought again at election time as the 90 day no-rights period remains core National Party policy.
National’s industrial relations spokesperson Wayne Mapp was
quoted last week saying changes to employment law would be top
priority for National at the election, especially around
probationary periods. “In terms of our industrial law, I guess we'd
put this at number one,” he said.