Thousands of workers crowded the streets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch today protesting against government reforms to the employment laws.
Spurred on by the Council of Trade Unions, the workers were voicing their anger at the government's plans to extend the 90-day trial period, during which employers can sack new employers without the risk of an unfair dismissal claim, to all businesses. Currently the 90-day trial period only applies to businesses with 19 staff or less.
The unions say the government's proposed changed, which passed its first reading in Parliament on Thursday, will disadvantage about 450,000 workers who start or change or jobs each year.
CTU president Helen Kelly said today's protest rallies were just the start of the unions' efforts to derail changes, which it describes as the biggest reforms to the hit labour market in 20 years.
The unions' campaign has so far focused on the 90-day trial period but the unions are also opposed to the government's plans to force workers to produce a doctors' certificate if they are sick even for one day.
Dunedin workers will march in protest of the planned changes tomorrow and other protest action is planned in provincial cities around the country.
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