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Campaign is over, now the real work begins

The Council of Trade Unions warmly welcomed Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Arden into office following the announcement tonight of the Labour Party coalition agreement with New Zealand First and the Green Party.

“On behalf of working people, I can say how excited we are to have a coalition Government who have committed to lifting incomes, to women actually getting equal pay and to ending poverty in New Zealand” said CTU Secretary, Sam Huggard. “New Zealand asked for a different approach, and we’re confident that Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party can deliver a fairer, more equal country with a better quality of life for all.”

“Let’s not kid ourselves, as well as a fiscal deficit, there is a social and infrastructure deficit after 9 years of austerity. It might not be properly measured, but it’s visible in the state of our housing, our rivers and stagnant productivity in our workplaces. The high election turn-out was a sign that New Zealand is re-energised by a change to our political landscape. Working people finally have hope that their time and energy will be better valued by those in power.”

“Getting better collective bargaining across more worksites, improving the way we work and ending the tragedy of Kiwis killed on the job are urgent priorities for our new Government. There is a lot of work to do to build back the basics of a happy healthy life for many working people. Union members from around the country will be discussing our agenda for a fairer New Zealand at our Biennial Conference next week in Wellington. We look forward to getting stuck in and helping Government rebalance the power in our workplaces towards the ordinary New Zealanders who have waited so long for change.”