The Government has announced its nine day fortnight package - the tenth day will be replaced by the minimum wage for 'up to five hours'. It has dropped plans to provide any free 'training' - which, as I said in a previous post, it didn't have any real intention to provide anyway.
Not unsurprisingly, the docile CTU have welcomed the plan to cut the wages of some of its members.
‘This package and the amount available do provide a real basis for business and unions to work to save jobs,’said CTU President Helen Kelly.
So its full steam ahead as far as Kelly is concerned, with workers being asked to bear the burden of an economic crisis they were not responsible for.
Andrew Little from the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has called the proposal 'disappointing'.
He went on to say:
“Five hours at the minimum wage is a miserable level of subsidy for a day’s lost pay and our members simply won’t wear that sort of loss.
“Our members are telling us they can’t afford to take another hit in the pocket, they’re already paying for the recession through lost overtime and shift allowances and they’re not in a position to bear any more.
“Workers didn’t cause this recession and it’s not on to expect them to pay the price. Unless employers are willing to meet this subsidy with a substantial top-up of their own it’s unlikely to be accepted by workers.
“As far as the EPMU is concerned, this will be a bottom line.”
Of course we've all heard Little talk big before - he then subsequently capitulates to the demands of employers. He does not have a 'bottom line'
Little knows he can't publicly support the Government's proposal without risking the wrath of his members so this press release is designed for public consumption - what he attempts to do behind the scenes will be another matter altogether.