BREAKING NEWS
Man in police custody after incident at Parliament ... Read more
Close

Workers need a safety voice - CTU

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 08:16 07/11/2012

Relevant offers

Industries

More Wicked Campers slogans banned, behaviour concerns advertising watchdog Shewan Inquiry gets advice on tightening trust regime Competition regulator alleges Vodafone breached Fair Trading Act Proactive stance urged in combating marina pest Massey University step closer to becoming 'Stanford of the South Pacific' Consumer survey finds lawnmowers unreliable, but Kiwis still love them Property speculators cause falling Auckland home ownership - Labour Former Mighty River Power engineer Paul Kenneth Rose jailed for $2.2m fraud Football fans draw short stick on Sky's FanPass Lewis Road Creamery wins brand battle after Chinese businessman's name claim

Unions are calling for learnings of the Pike River to effect change in other high-risk industries. But those in the forestry and agriculture industries said efforts were already being made.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the overriding theme of the Royal Commission report into the Pike River tragedy was the need for workers to have rights and a voice.

"It highlighted how the labour inspectorate naturally assumed Pike was a safe mine and good employer, regardless of the evidence otherwise or the interests the workers had in that not being the assumption."

The Government must ensure that labour protections were stronger and protected through good legislation and enforcement mechanisms, she said.

And proposed employment law changes would further weaken worker representation in health and safety.

"Workers working long hours for low wages will make mistakes and hurt themselves, workers operating as small independent contractors are often ignored in health and safety systems."

The 'business knows best' approach should be stopped, Kelly said.

"The report calls for the re-regulation of work – the message is clear – the balance is wrong – it needs to be rebalanced in mining and across the NZ economy."

The Forest Owners Association said attempts to improve workplace safety had been underway for some time.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content