Union accuses National of trying to silence workers

Andrew Little, EPMU national secretary
Andrew Little, EPMU national secretary
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) says the National Party's latest bid to stop it being registered to take part in the election campaign is an attempt to silence workers' voices.

National last month lodged an application for a judicial review of the Electoral Commission's decision to register the union as a third party -- organisations which are not political parties -- so it could take part in the campaign and spend up to $120,000.

The listing of the registration was due to take effect last Friday but it has been suspended for two weeks so that the court can hear the application.

"The issue of work rights and higher wages is shaping up as a significant one for our members and other working people and the National Party is doing all it can to shut us out of public debate on their negative policies," EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said today.

"The union will not be wasting any more time or resources on National's legal challenges."

National has previously tried to reverse the commission's decision to register the union, arguing it is so closely linked to the Labour Party that it should not be able to campaign in its own right under the Electoral Finance Act.

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