18 Oct 2010

Business NZ sceptical about Labour policy

8:38 pm on 18 October 2010

The Labour Party is confident that many employers support bringing back industry-wide agreements, but Business New Zealand has criticised the policy as a return to the 1970s.

Labour's proposed policy would strengthen the ability of unions to negotiate collective agreements across industries, not just at individual workplaces.

The party's industrial relations spokesperson, Trevor Mallard, says many employers support the move because they're tired of constantly negotiating individual and workplace agreements and don't want to compete with one another on wages.

But Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly says the policy is a return to national awards and he can't see what benefit it would have.