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Friday, October 28, 2011

Starting out a step back

National's policy on screwing over younger workers is nasty. It is straight out of the Employers and Manufacturers wish list, probably because they wrote it for them. It is a policy for bad and mean employers in the same way that the 90 day dismiss-at-will law was made to empower for the worst of employers. "Starting Out" is a continuation of the harsh, sharp edges that will be cutting into worker's rights if the Nats get back in. The way the most vulnerable have been targeted for punishment is just simple exploitation:

The starting-out wage will be set at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage and three groups of people will be eligible:

•16- and 17-year-olds in their first six months of work with a new employer.
•18- and 19-year-olds entering the workforce after more than six months on a designated benefit.
•16- to 19-year-old workers training in a recognised industry course involving at least 40 credits a year.
Mr Key also announced an extension to flexible working arrangements, improvements to collective bargaining and a review of constructive dismissal.

It's a licence to rip off young workers. That's bad for 16 and 17 year olds, but what is planned by the Tories for the 18 and 19 year olds is cunty, really cunty. Because anyone - of any age - has to accept a job offer - no matter what it is - or they get their survival-level benefit chopped it means these teenagers will be forced to accept the lower wage. The twisted use of the word "eligible" to describe the rip off - as if it were some sort of an opportunity - is sick.

The Nats are trying to create a pool of cheap labour for their mates in business to profit from, meanwhile - because their pay is so low - this class of subject worker will probably not escape the indignity of the benefit system and WINZ because they will need to be topped up to afford to live in places with high rents such as Auckland and Wellington. So in that respect it's a subsidy to the rich.

And who gets the advantage here? It's not the young worker - it's the employer who is pocketing the difference. No amount of semantics from the Nats changes that. It doesn't encourage the training and addition of young workers into employment, it sets up a scheme to screw them for half a year. The only pricks who would do that are the sort of pricks who dump them after five and half months - that will be the sad reality.

Ominously the 90 day instant dismissal law looks just like the beginning:

Mr Key says National will also take a close look at how allegations of constructive dismissal can be better managed.

“Altogether, these initiatives are part of National’s plan to give businesses the confidence they need to invest, grow and create higher-paying jobs.

The leap in logic to assert that ripping young workers off and making it easier for bad employers to fire people will lead to higher wages is remarkable. Only a fool would say or think that paying people less for a job will create higher-paying jobs. That makes no sense.

The rest of their policies are just Employers and Manufacturers policy in drag. "Flexible" can be be freely translated to "unreasonable". Read it and weep. Does your average worker voting for National know this is on the cards?


At 29/10/11 9:17 am, Blogger Tiger Mountain said...

Dismal stuff alright. ECA mark II. This shit can only run in times of high unemployment. Things like “internships” are almost ingrained now too, a UNITEC ad says “paid or unpaid” in respect to a photographers work experience. Unpaid forced work has a name...

My niece trying to do the “right thing” got a degree (and loan) did a slave unpaid internship and now works 3 part time jobs and is rightly pissed about it.


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