9 day fortnight gains cautious support

The Councils of Trade Unions is cautiously supportive of the government’s  proposal for nine day fortnights to help employers:

The Council of Trade Unions – which helped formulate the scheme – said it provided a strong basis for unions and businesses to negotiate deals which could prevent job losses.

National secretary Helen Kelly said the Government subsidy was “essential’ to make it acceptable to workers, but she also expected employers to contribute to the costs.

The lead of the Labour Party Phil Goff is also able to see something positive:

Labour leader Phil Goff said the scheme was “helpful” but the Government needed to move quickly on help for smaller businesses.

 Labour’s president  takes a more blinkered view:

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union said the pay out was “underwhelming”.

“Unless employers are willing to meet this subsidy with a substantial top-up of their own it’s unlikely to be accepted by workers,” national secretary Andrew Little said.

“As far as the EPMU is concerned, this will be a bottom line.”

 But then as Keeping Stock and Kiwiblog both point out he’s wearing two hats and in this case his the brim of the political hat is obviously stopping him seeing anything which he might appreciate if he was only wearing the union hat.

Further to this, Roarprawn points out that unions have assets and maybe now’s the time for them to use them to help their members.

PS – I was wrong yesterday about the scheme applying only to workers in unions. It applies to businesses with 100 or more staff which will be unionised and there is a subtle but important difference between that and giving assistance only to union members.

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