Labour stuck in 1970s with National Awards 2.0

Labour’s so-called Fair Pay Agreements are an ideologically-driven project without any sound analytical basis, National’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“It is acknowledged in the Cabinet Paper that the FPA could lead directly to businesses having to cut costs by reducing staff numbers and hours or even to them leaving the market – not to mention driving costs up for goods and services.

“I also have serious concerns about the legality of some of the proposed measures as they clearly breach the principle of ‘freedom of association’.

“Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood and the Government must front up and explain this and the other bizarre inclusions in the FPA Cabinet Paper.

“Why, for example, is it necessary for them to legislate that non-union members contact information can be obtained by unions from employers and so long as the primary communication is about the FPA they “would not prevent unions from including other messages in communications”?

“My concerns are echoed by the Treasury in their statement: “the [Regulatory Impact Statement] acknowledges there is minimal empirical evidence for the problem or policy response”.

“Labour’s so-called Fair Pay Agreements may be celebrated by unions who are struggling for survival, but they will not improve things for individual workers.

“This will see 90 per cent of a workforce at the mercy of the other 10 per cent and entire industries bound by agreements whether they participate in the FPA bargaining process or not.

“This Labour Government is growing more interventionist by the day. It has not met a problem it doesn’t think can be solved through more centralisation, regulation, bureaucracy, and more power in the hands of the Government.

“Labour say they want to “drive an enduring, system-wide change,” but history tells us that this enduring change will not be for the better of workers, employers, industry, and the economy.

“This is compulsory wage controls. It is unionism gone universal. The National Party will repeal these recycled National Awards.”