As a direct result of the policy we now know as “Rogernomics”, restrictions on overseas money coming in to the country were lifted, crown assets were sold, government departments became state-owned enterprises, and over 5 years these new corporate entities dismissed 20,000 workers, many of whom were Māori who had been working in those industries for generations.
Emboldened by this, employers in other sectors started introducing below-inflation wage increases, stripping work safety standards, enforcing no-strike rules, forcing unions off work sites and locking out workers.
And yet for all that, the promises of economic growth simply did not materialise. Our economy grew at 5% while the OECD average was 25%, our credit rating dropped twice, our foreign debt blew out by more than 400%, and unemployment went from 3.5% to 12%.
Real wages have gone down while the cost of living has gone up, making many people much worse off than ever before and requiring workers to work many additional hours to make up the difference.
MANA supports the call for full employment and the requirement for government to provide employment where the private sector cannot.
MANA also supports the call for all workers to be well supported at work with good conditions and a living wage.
MANA supports the right of all workers to join unions to represent their collective interests and negotiate for decent wages and conditions of work.
MANA policy priorities are to:
Rebuild the state housing sector
- Create thousands of construction jobs and help alleviate the strain of poverty by:
- renovating state housing;
- building emergency accommodation for the homeless, and;
- building 10,000 state houses for low-income whanau to rent (and progress into ownership) every year until the housing crisis is over.
Restart Community Employment Projects
- Initiate community employment to put the unemployed back to work in their communities on projects that enhance the wellbeing of the community, such as:
- Marae renovations
- Kaumatua/kuia flat renewals
- Sports club upgrades
- Community gardens
- School grounds
Good work conditions
- Repeal the 90 day trial period for new employees
- Extend paid parental leave to 12 months
- 6 weeks redundancy for the first year of employment and 2 weeks for each subsequent year
- Make Matariki Day a new public holiday under the Holidays Act
- Overhaul health and safety standards in dangerous work environments
- Increase the minimum wage to $20hr and index it to 66% of the average wage
- Support pay and employment equity
- Maintain pay rates when contracting state services to community and Iwi organisations
- Abolish secondary job tax for those who work 2-3 part-time jobs
- Support union collective agreements for better wage and safety conditions
- Make all workers pay a union fee for benefits of collective agreements
- Penalise employers who discourage workers from joining unions