New Zealanders have given the thumbs-up to employment law changes, which could see all new workers facing a 90-day trial period when they start a new job.
Currently the scheme is open only to companies with fewer than 20 staff, but last month the government announced that the 90-day probation period will be extended to cover all companies.
Unions declared war on the government over the move, in heated protests at the National Party Conference but the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll shows most voters don't want to join the battle.
ONE News asked voters whether they thought the 90-day trial law should be extended to cover all companies every time someone starts a new job. Sixty percent said yes, while just 36% said no. The remainder said they didn't know, or were unsure.
Bugger. The left will be gutted that barely a third of New Zealanders oppose what are some very progressive changes to our emplyment laws. Under nine years of a Labour-led government, the balance shifted far too far in favour of workers in our ever-humble opinion, and the proposals announced by John Key last month will address that imbalance. We are delighted to see that 60% of New Zealanders agree with the Government.
And the rhetoric continues - read on:
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) national secretary Andrew Little, the Labour party president, said the scheme was "an old-fashioned National Party attack on workers".
Unions are also questioning whether people realise how many New Zealanders will be affected by the new law.
"What they don't understand is that the law will affect 400,000 New Zealanders every year. That is how many go from job to job," said Unite Union national secretary Matt McCarten.
As far as we are concerned, the likes of Little, McCarten and Helen Kellly of the CTU can bang on all they like, but the reality is that few people are listening; just those who frequent the likes of Red Alert and The Standard! To them, we offer six words of condolence:
The legislation to enable these changes will be before the House next week, and we look forward to its passage through its various stages. The debate will be both interesting and revealing.