Zero Hours Contracts Treachery

Michael Woodhouse: fit to

Michael Woodhouse: fit to “wet his cheeks with artificial tears, / And frame his face to all occasions.”

By Martin Gregory

Workers cannot put any trust whatsoever in this double-dealing Key government of liars. When it comes to employment law, under the lead of Workplace Relations minister Michael Woodhouse, they have developed a habit of announcing one thing and doing another.

They told the public they were going to stop the exploitation of migrant workers. They made it harder for the migrants.

They said they were going to strengthen health and safety law, but they reneged on the key thing of workers’ representation.

Back in April, when Unite union fast food members were protesting zero-hours contracts, and having public support, the right-dishonourable Woodhouse told the media that he was going to outlaw such bad practices. He told One News: “Even if it is a relatively low incidence in our employment, it’s probably worth ruling them out, for the sake of certainty for those vulnerable workers.”

In the Employment Standards Legislation Bill now before Parliament the government proposes the opposite. Zero-hours contracts are currently often legally dubious. The new law would legitimise and legalise them.

Full details are given in this excellent factsheet by the CTU.

The whole union, Labour and Socialist movement must raise a storm of protest.

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