“Michael Wood’s assertions that ‘Fair Pay Agreements’ are the solution to the dire driver shortages across New Zealand are out of touch with reality,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Workplace Relations and Immigration Minister Michael Wood’s comments came in response to a letter from industry heads highlighting there is a shortfall of 9,000 drivers, which will likely mean pared back waste collection and public transport services in the future.

“Wood is always looking for a scapegoat for the labour shortages caused by his own immigration policy. His go-to response is to blame the industry for the shortages it is experiencing.

“First it was hospitality owners who he had a swipe at and now he’s saying trucking industry bosses are the culprit for not attracting enough staff.

“Wood is cynically using the existing crisis to give a plug for his union mates’ policy of ‘Fair Pay Agreements’. The policy will actually mean less flexibility, no performance pay, and more union meddling. It’s the opposite of a solution and it is baffling that the Minister would try and claim it as such.

“Drivers provide an essential service to New Zealand and are working massive and unsustainable hours to keep things going.

“Wood should instead be looking to his immigration portfolio for a solution, the reason New Zealand is experiencing such unprecedented labour shortages is because of Labour’s catastrophic ‘immigration reset’.

“ACT has launched a petition against Fair Pay Agreements, AKA compulsory unionism. If people want to join a union there is nothing stopping them, it shouldn’t be forced on people.

“Minister Wood needs to start taking responsibility for the workplace woes occurring across New Zealand, he can’t keep shifting the blame and touting ‘Fair Pay Agreements’ as a magical solution when they will only make things worse.”

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