What’s disgusting? Union busting!

25 Jun

In a democracy, workers have the right to join with other workers in a union, to protect their rights and get better pay and conditions. Some managers don’t like unions, because they expose unfairness and bullying, or win workers a bigger share of the profits. But no matter what a manager or boss thinks, they are bound by the law of New Zealand, and it is highly illegal to intimidate or force a worker to leave the union.

Unite union lead march in 2006 against youth rates and insecure hours

Employees have the right to decide whether they want to join a union and, if so, which union. It is illegal for an employer or anyone else to put unreasonable pressure on someone to join or to not join a union, or to discriminate against someone because they joined or didn’t join a union.

Unions are legally allowed to enter a workplace for employment and union business. Both the employer and the union should deal with union visits in good faith.

Union members must be allowed to attend two union meetings (no longer than two hours each) each calendar year, on pay and during normal work hours. This is separate from and additional to discussions between union members and union representatives that take place in the workplace. Union members can also take paid education leave to attend employment relations courses approved by the Minister of Labour.

Employees involved in union activities enjoy special protections under the Employment Relations Act. It is illegal for an employer to offer inferior conditions, to dismiss, or to force someone out of a job because they are involved in union activities. Such activities include being a union officer, a delegate or a collective bargaining representative; protecting employment rights, or participating in a lawful strike.

Employment Relations Act (2000)- Part 3- Freedom of Association- Section 11- Undue influence

(1) A person must not exert undue influence, directly or indirectly, on another person with the intention of inducing the other person—

(a) to become or remain a member of a union or a particular union; or

(b) to cease to be a member of a union or a particular union; or

(c) not to become a member of a union or a particular union; or

(d) in the case of an individual who is authorised to act on behalf of employees, not to act on their behalf or to cease to act on their behalf; or

(e) to resign from or leave any employment on account of the fact that the other person is or, as the case may be, is not a member of a union or of a particular union.

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is liable to a penalty under this Act imposed by the Authority.


IF SO, TXT JOE AT 029 4455702.


One Response to “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”

  1. Tai Lemalu June 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    In 1997 I started my employment with Air New Zealand, at which my first experiences with what they called back then skulduggery’. My employment ended dramatically under what their company believed was misconduct??? Yet in reality, their years of dishonest and manipulating managing affected me to the point of frustration eventually stress and depression. Raising employee concerns would be met with meetings with managers who would use bullying tactics and instead try turning concerns around on me? The employment collective agreement was a joke and disadvantaging, terms & conditions were ignored and neglected?? Its good to say that we are a democratic society, but!..Are we?
    Look at the stage of where this country is at currently, asset sales?..No matter what we say or do, the govt aint listening!..Just like employers who use their deceptive methods to manage their businesses!..The changes in the laws over the years has only worked in their favour, you just need to look at the number of case applicants through the Employment Relations & Employment Courts. Majority of cases are won by the employers? I am all for the rights of workers and fairness & equality in employment and has always stood by these values, both now and back when I was a union delegate.

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