The Government should drop its planned changes to employment law and adopt the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry into manufacturing instead, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The report says the Government needs to take a more hands-on approach to tackle the crisis in manufacturing and build an economy based on better jobs and higher wages.
Its recommendations include acting on the high New Zealand dollar, buying Kiwi made and investing in research and development to drive innovation.
EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says the ideas in the report are about building a modern economy with higher wages and good, secure jobs.
“This report lays out an alternative economic vision where New Zealand takes the high road of investment, good jobs and higher wages. It means creating jobs that will boost our economy and provide people with skills, secure work and a decent standard of living.
“This is a clear alternative to the Government’s failed hands-off approach, which has seen our manufacturing sector fall into crisis.
“There are now 40,000 fewer jobs in manufacturing than there were four years ago, and on Friday alone we saw 84 highly skilled aircraft engineering jobs go at Safe Air in Blenheim because of failed Government policy.
“Increasingly, Kiwi families face stagnant wages, few options for full time employment and the ever-present threat of redundancy. We don’t need new laws to cut Kiwis’ pay, we need policies that will support good jobs and higher wages.
“The Government should drop its unfair employment changes and focus on creating jobs, starting by adopting this report.”
The Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing was launched last October at the EPMU’s Jobs Crisis Summit, which was called in response to a string of high profile job losses.
Workplaces hit by mass redundancies in the last year include Dynamic Controls, Rakon, Solid Energy, Norske Skog in Kawerau, the Tiwai Point aluminimum smelter, Axiam Metals, Nuplex Industries, Aquaheat, Flotech, Summit Wool Spinners, Norman Ellison Carpets, Goulds Fine Foods, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, KiwiRail, the Christchurch Engine Centre, Geon, Carter Holt Harvey, Telecom, Contact Energy, Mainzeal and Safe Air.
For more information contact:
Bill Newson, EPMU national secretary: 027 538 4246
Neale Jones, EPMU communications director: 027 276 5146