Join the campaign for fairness at work

Now that the frivolity of the morning is over, I want to take the opportunity to remind Frogblog readers that today the Government’s

new industrial relations laws

(PDF) come into effect.  These include extending the

fire at will provisions

for the first 90 days of employment in a new job to all workplaces,

restricting union access

to workplaces, and allowing employers to require a sick note from a doctor after

just one day off work

.  The new laws are unfair, and serve to protect bad employers rather than improve workplace relationships.

The NZ Council of Trade Unions have

launched a campaign

to organise against the new laws.  Here are some suggestions from one union,

the EPMU

, about what employees can do:

If you’re in a union …

… you can use your union to demand that your employer treat all employees – new and long-serving – fairly. Demand that your employer respect your choice to belong to a union and ensure your organiser has access when you need it, not when the boss agrees to it. Let your delegate know and call a meeting in the smoko room to discuss it. Ask your employer to sign a pledge not to use these laws.

If you’re negotiating your collective agreement soon, put up claims for clauses that prevent the employer from abusing the 90-day no-rights law and the union obstruction law. It is not against the law to have clauses that say your employer won’t use these bad laws. …

If you’re not in a union …

If you’re not in a union talk to your workmates. Tell them they can do something about these unfair and unjust laws. Tell them they have a right to tell their employer what you expect as a workforce. If you want some help call Freephone 0800 186466 or email us on


Whatever you do, never accept unfair actions by an employer. Make your voice heard.

The EPMU have an

online petition

you can sign in support of fairness at work, with an option to sign up for campaign updates from them. The NZCTU also have an

action page

with a campaign update sign up option.