National plans to introduce a sacking bill before Christmas. That would mean that employers with fewer than 20 staff could sack in the first 90 days of employment without legal recrimination.
National has its 90-day sacking bill on a list of legislation it wants passed in the next 100 days.
This bill is an overt attack on workers’ rights. Workers in small job sites currently enjoy few rights as they are mostly not unionised and the employers consequently have a great deal of power.
The CTU is responding with a petition and looking at putting adverts in the major newspapers. This falls well short of what is needed.
Direct action by workers is the way to respond to this attack.
Unite union is taking the lead by saying that any worker can join Unite for $2 a week and get phone advice and back up where needed. If workers are wrongly sacked in the 90 day period Unite will organise pickets in defence of these people. Any employer who sacks under this legislation could find themselves confronted by a rowdy picket line and Unite’s 20 foot rat.
Employers plainly want to put the pressure on workers; it’s time to push back.