Union aghast at plans to scrap breaks

Judith Collins on the campaign trail yesterday. Photo: Getty Imaged
Judith Collins. Photo: Getty Images
Mandatory meal breaks could be scrapped under a National-led government, but meat workers say the plan is out to lunch.

The New Zealand Meat Workers Union said yesterday it was "horrified" by National’s "men-spirited and backwards proposal to remove breaks, including lunch breaks".

"Working people have fought long and hard for fair breaks and welcomed the return to scheduled breaks under Labour’s amendments to the Employment Relations Act," union national secretary Daryl Carran said.

"National’s proposal to take smoko and lunchtime away from people is absurd and out of touch."

National has pledged to repeal the Government’s changes to the Employment Relations Act and initiate a review of WorkSafe, if elected.

National Party leader Judith Collins said National would create jobs and get the economy moving again.

"The only sustainable way to create new jobs is to reduce barriers, costs and uncertainty for the private sector, and in, particular, small businesses," Ms Collins said.

"National believes in a flexible, productive workplace where workers get a fair deal and businesses are productive," the party’s plan said.

"National supports an approach where employees and employers are trusted to work employment matters out themselves in good faith."



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And then, once you finish work, tired and hungry, you can go home to your damp house because National will have cut any regulations landlords might have faced about minimum heat and insulation.

Meal breaks help refuel people's bodies and renew plans for the coming day. To take away breaks would end in fatigue and uninspired workplaces. A dangerous and blase environment to work in.

I noticed Crusher was a bit light on the details of the industrial relation changes that National would make. She simply said they would repeal everything Labour had enacted.
I can only imagine that she intends to repeal what should be fundamental workers rights such as: controls over hours of work; controls over meal breaks; controls over unfair dismissal; controls over holidays; controls over redundancy entitlements; controls over the ability to negotiate your employment contract; the right to join a union; requirements for employers to act in good faith; and possibly even the minimum wage. All of these and many more will be obliterated by National.

Just when National could be considered an alternative government out they come with some right-wing industrial lunacy.
This is the same anti-worker rubbish most people would think was in the past. Yeah, let's give employers all the rights and then workers can accept less pay, erratic shifts or just do without a job. And who needs paid holidays, 4 hours off on Xmas day should be enough for anyone.

Crib time, Keith. It's the Blackball 08, 1908, where National is.

"Just when National could be considered an alternative government" .
You're joking, I hope. At no point have National looked like anything but an extension of tRumpism.
Third Choice Collins will open the borders and remove workers' rights before morning tea, and then get rid of all environmental protections before lunch.
The rest of their term will be spent enriching their rich donors.

I thought we were trying to lure people into the workplace. There are enough citizens in this country already that don't want to work living off the state. If this govt succeeded with these adopted changes, hell I wont want to work anymore either! Also Crusher forgot to mention the previous National govt policy involving the superannuation age hike too... in fact why bother, they may as well just abolish superannuation all together!!

Why does National hate the working person so much? In truth, they are where the wealth comes from. Do they not know where innovation, enthusiasm and motivation comes from? Do they not know the drop in productivity under communism and other "serfdom" of workers?

The notion that employers can be trusted when it comes to treating workers fairly is laughable; the employment court historical records are enough testimony to show how disingenuous Collins is being. If this is how National intend to create jobs, this country is headed for much more turbulent waters than it already is in.

Lunch time will be gone by lunchtime.

Next up back to zero hour contracts that's how they going to create jobs by getting you to work 1 hour a day. Here in Auckland yesterday in the Herald business section we on one page Catherine Rich on the next page Mathew Hooton laying into the Government saying National will do better and every Thursday we have the Mike Hoskings hate column though he did disappear for a while when they were shedding leaders but once Crusher was in it was hate in overdrive.

And while we're at it, let's drop this silly nonsense that requires commercial drivers to take a half hour break after 5 and a half hours. When I was a lad you could drive a log truck for a day and a night non stop and that was after a weekend on the lash too.

I'm not a blogger but this was too good to miss. THIS IS our TRUE ACCOUNT OF A FINE EXAMPLE OF BLOOD, SWEAT &TEARS as a result of skipped meal breaks.
I hope you're listening Crusher.
We had new carpet laid. Large 3 bedroom house and stairs. We expected a team to arrive to get it laid in a day, instead only two men arrived. One could not speak any English. We have ended up with carpet joins and extra joins in the wrong places and yet we don't blame the carpet layers nor the wonderful carpet team we went through, but this could have been prevented.
These two men worked a full day till very late afternoon on 'no food breaks' due to the strenuous work . We watched them work for us: me, my husband and sons. We watched them slog, for us ... sweat just dripping wet down their faces and tops drenched and the Mrs left in tears looking at sunlight gleaming on bad carpet joins.
They worked short-staffed, with many of the carpet layers down sick and they went out there way to help us get the carpet laid on the time frame we had, so we were extremely grateful . THINGS go WRONG without BREAKS and exhaustion sets in and clear thinking fogs.

It is not taking away meal breaks, it is reversing the Nanny State decree that they be mandatory and scheduled. New Zealand used to have one of the highest productivity ratings in the Western world. We've slipped a lot. Allowing management and workers to agree on work practices is very sensible.

You will be clearly be voting for the Act Party.

The last time I had tea breaks...was in 1996.

I think.

Let's be honest: the only people who get tea breaks and full lunch breaks these days are public servants, academics and teachers.

The rest of us are lucky to shovel down a sandwich over a five minute gap between tasks.

Nationals policy is only going to level the playing field!

Negotiate a good contract and resist reduction of hard won conditions, unless you're self-employed, can please yourself and get tax writeoffs.

I was thinking about Blackball and the people who fought for lunch break, which incidentally used to be an hour then half an hour. And now Judith, who is clearly showing signs of having lost all credibility with this bizarre no lunch break idea, and obviously her husband is in his second childhood with far too much time on his hands to be playing on his devices and insulting our wonderful Prime Minister who has worldwide respect.
Judith Collins and partner - go play golf or do something useful with your time crushing cars and endorsing no lunch breaks. If you weren't a politician, what is this psyche called in other circles?

Well done! We already have a horrific workplace bullying record, and now you want to take their earned breaks off them.

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