Strike season? The cause of NZ's ongoing industrial action

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 3 March 2019, 3:50PM
Primary and secondary teachers are amongst those seeking

New Zealand faces another year of strike action, with question marks hanging over multiple industries. 

Secondary school teachers are the latest threatening to strike over pay increases, following strikes throughout the medical sector so far this year, including lengthy action from junior doctors.

It comes after 2018 saw more strikes in one year than in the previous 10 years, and employment lawyer Max Whitehead says that we can expect more "crippling" strikes to come this year.

He told The Weekend Collective that there is no coincidence that this started after Labour got into power.

"The unions put Labour into power. They funded them, they got their members to vote for them, and what they are saying is 'we want you in power as we want more wages'."

He says they are clearly not very pleased about the rates they are currently getting. 

Whitehead says he is not sure why they waited until National was out of power. 

"I think they smelt blood. As soon as Labour got in, they sensed they'd get a big wage rise."

Whitehead says that strike action is quite an aggressive action to take. 

"It is violent action on an employer; 'If you don't give me a raise, I'll shut your business'."

He says that it is a frightening time for employers, with unions getting special treatment to come into businesses and pressuring them into engaging. 

 

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