Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has opened up the possibility of collective bargaining to all contractors following changes made to the so-called ‘Hobbit Law’, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“The Government is intent on giving more power to unions and this is just another example of that. Introducing collective bargaining to contractors will remove the flexibility for both workers and businesses and further lock up our labour markets.

“Labour promised to repeal the so called ‘Hobbit Law’ within its first 100 days, but realised it was a sensible and pragmatic solution. Now 18-months later it’s decided to make onerous changes to keep its union mates happy.

“The screen industry brought in $3.3 billion last year and creates 30,000 jobs. By caving into the unions, movie makers are more likely to head offshore, that means less money for our economy and fewer jobs in the film industry.

“New Zealand has a reputation for making great films. The industry has had huge benefits for the economy and has meant more jobs for people in the industry.

“The Government put $155 million in the Budget for film industry grants, so it’s giving with one hand but deterring film production with restrictive employment laws with the other.

“National believes the best framework to increase wages over time includes flexible labour markets, respect for the right of individual workers and businesses to agree to their own terms and allows workers to negotiate their own contracts based on productivity or experience.”

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