22 Oct 2010

Union can't promise no strikes during World Cup

5:33 pm on 22 October 2010

New Zealand's Council of Trade Unions says it will not consider a request by a major employers' group to rule out industrial action during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Employers fear union action similar to that threatening The Hobbit movies could disrupt the Rugby World Cup.

David Lowe, of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, says disruption is possible after Unite Union said it will take industrial action during the tournament if employment agreements are not settled.

Mr Lowe is calling on the CTU to say they will not take any action during the World Cup.

He says the tournament is not the right time to pursue agendas, and if industrial action is taken next year, New Zealand's reputation for welcoming hospitality could be wrecked.

But CTU president Helen Kelly says she can not promise anything in case someone is treated very badly during the event.

However, she says unions are not targeting the event and want it to be a success.

Lessons from Commonwealth Games

The man heading Rugby World Cup preparations says New Zealand must learn a lesson from the negative publicity India received during the Commonwealth Games.

Speaking at a conference on business preparedness for the tournament, Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden said of Friday that India's reputation has been damaged.

Mr Snedden says there is an enormous risk New Zealand could also suffer if people think the country will not be ready to host the event.

However, organisers are working hard to eliminate that risk by reassuring people that preparations are on track, he says.

Mr Snedden says India will be regretting the lost opportunity to promote the country during the Games and does not want New Zealand to be in the same position after the Rugby World Cup.