Wake Up NZ
October 27, 2014
Far-reaching workplace reforms, including moves touted by opponents as scrapping meal breaks and smokos, were given prime billing in Parliament last week in a symbolic show of strength by the incoming Government.
Opposition MPs slowed down the new law’s passage, but it is heading for a final reading on Tuesday, making it the first law to hit the statute books in John Key’s third term.
It is likely no mistake it was singled out as first cab off the legislative rank. National’s plans to pass the Employment Relations Amendment Bill were thwarted by minor party opposition before the September 20 election. By ramming it through before Labour has even chosen a new leader, Key is clearly signalling his stronger position post-election, where he is no longer reliant on UnitedFuture or the Maori Party, which both opposed the original bill.
The Government’s substantive proposals from before the election remain in train, including the lightning rod provision that would end the current entitlement to meal breaks and “smokos”.
Under the change, an employer would have to provide only “reasonable compensatory meas ures where an employee could not reasonably be provided with breaks”. That could be met by giving equivalent time off work.
Labour launched a petition against the move that drew 10,000 signatures in 24 hours. It hoped to boost that over Labour weekend.
Labour MP Andrew Little – who highlighted the law change during his first leadership pitch to party members – said it showed this was the most “niggardly and nasty” National Government there had been. “To begrudge anyone having a cuppa or a meal break during their working day goes against the grain. It’s a Kiwi tradition. Doing away with it is mean-spirited and unfair.”
Labour’s minority report from the select committee that considered the bill described it as a leap back to the failed 1990s model. They said it continued “the flawed logic” that employers, who already have control of their workplaces and an implied duty of employees to obey instructions, needed more statutory powers.
This is only the start of the law reforms National will push through, with the Spying Laws and Resource Management Act next to be cut up to suit the agenda. New Zealand was brainwashed into voted for National, and it hasn’t taken long for the arrogance we saw pre-election to turn into bills which will have a real effect on Kiwis. We hope all those who voted National last election will happily to give up their tea breaks as the rest of New Zealand has to deal with their poor decision.
What can be expect next, Union membership to be banned? Annual leave cut? Do these policy makers not realise that productivity in humans isn’t the same as with machines and that bills like these will actually reduce productivity and staff morale?
Self-employment is the obvious answer, but of course isn’t realistic for a lot of people. This also raises the question of how relevant our current levels of consumption and debt slavery are and the reliance we have on the broken system.
And you can read more on NZ Stuff
This could the end to have a right to have break during work hours. New Zealand Workforce is going to be slave like soon once this bill come into effect. Time to wake New Zealand because it only been a month since the New Zealand election and John Key is not wasting time.