What you can do about the unfair workplace laws

Don't be fooled into thinking there's nothing you can do about the new laws from 1 April. There's plenty you can do.

Remember, these laws aren't about making good management better. All they do is protect bad employer behaviour. These laws are unjust and unfair. They are designed to make it harder to get your voice heard at work.

Just think, the workplace is your place, too. You are entitled to be safe there, to exercise your freedom of choice about belonging to a union and to be treated fairly and properly. And you're entitled to demand your employer treat your workmates fairly, too. That's what good workmates do.

Employers are very good at demanding standards of behaviour for employees. We are entitled to demand acceptable standards of behaviour from our employers.

If you're in a union ...

... you can use your union to demand that your employer treat all employees - new and long-serving - fairly. Demand that your employer respect your choice to belong to a union and ensure your organiser has access when you need it, not when the boss agrees to it. Let your delegate know and call a meeting in the smoko room to discuss it. Ask your employer to sign a pledge not to use these laws.

If you're negotiating your collective agreement soon, put up claims for clauses that prevent the employer from abusing the 90-day no-rights law and the union obstruction law. It is not against the law to have clauses that say your employer won't use these bad laws.

If you're in the EPMU, we will be getting workplace petitions and bargaining claims to protect our members from these laws. Talk to your organiser or delegate or contact us toll free on 0800 186466 or email us on us@epmu.org.nz to find out more.

If you're not in a union ...

If you're not in a union talk to your workmates. Tell them they can do something about these unfair and unjust laws. Tell them they have a right to tell their employer what you expect as a workforce. If you want some help call Freephone 0800 186466 or email us on us@epmu.org.nz

Whatever you do, never accept unfair actions by an employer. Make your voice heard.

+ one pager on the new law changes

+ background briefing on the new law changes