Rat Patrol and Workers Rights Campaign - fight unfair sackings

March 11, 2009

by Michael Ashton

An online survey commissioned by the New Zealand Business Council in February found that 1 in 5 people in the workforce fear that they will lose their jobs in 2009. Thirty-nine percent of those indicating they fear job loss are earners of between $20,001 and $30,000 a year, meaning that this category feels most insecure.

The introduction this month of the 90-day probationary employment legislation will compound the growing anxiety amongst working people and especially the working poor. A stand is being made through the Rat Patrol, a group of people who have undertaken to put pickets and a giant inflatable rat outside the premises of employers who unfairly dismiss workers in their first 90-days. Read the rest of this entry »


A step forward

March 11, 2009

from The Spark March 2009

Finally, nearly a decade into the 21st century women will be legally entitled to breastfeeding breaks at work. From 1 April employers will have to allow women this right and provide a suitable space.  The breaks are unpaid - unless otherwise agreed - so breastfeeding women will be penalised by loss of wages or having to extend their hours at work.

On its own the law may not deliver much of an improvement for women trying to juggle work and childcare. Few workplaces have childcare facilities, and few are very family friendly.

Despite these shortcomings, allowing breastfeeding at work is a step towards recognising the needs of working mothers.


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