“Without any notice at all, butchers have been designated hospitality workers and will be unionised by stealth under the latest ‘Fair Pay’ Agreement”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“At a time when New Zealanders are already doing it tough, small businesses up and down the country have a new bureaucratic hoop to jump through.

“The local butcher will be part of a collective agreement if they want to employ another person. Nobody will become more productive because of this development; in fact, the opposite is the case because more time will be spent on compliance and less on production.

“On Tuesday, businesses in the hospitality industry found themselves brought into ‘Fair Pay’ Agreement negotiations with the Unite Union.

“It covers all cafés, fast food franchises, bakers, pubs, catering companies, bus drivers working for hotels, accommodation of every type. It is so broad as to be unworkable.

“MBIE bureaucrats in their infinite wisdom have decided butchers are now hospitality workers. Meat industry retailers were given no warning whatsoever. This is the unionisation by stealth ACT has always warned about.

“If a butcher employs workers, they will be covered by the FPA. The FPA will set standard base rates all occupations, standardised work hours, and standardised penal and overtime rates. Workplace flexibility will end.

“Small businesses especially will find some of their workers are in and others out, and may not know until an MBIE inspector tells them they are in breach of the FPA they never knew they were in.

“Bigger players will use FPAs to crush smaller competitors, which is exactly what occurred with national awards in the 1970s.

“FPAs cover a huge range of occupations and businesses.

“The supermarket and grocery FPA already launched by FIRST Union is catching everyone from managers of big supermarkets to part-time workers in corner grocers, and ethnic markets to meat processors.

“The hospitality FPA pushed by the Unite Union includes school canteens.

“Butchers and bakers find themselves in both. Has MBIE thought about including candlemakers?

“An FPA could include tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers, many unaware that they are being covered or who is bargaining on their behalf.

“FPAs will put sand the gears of the economy. Businesses will spend more time complying with rules than actually doing productive stuff. The unions shouldn’t bother negotiating any more FPAs, because under ACT they will be gone.”

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