9 Mar 2009

Job summit plans not bold enough - trade union boss

7:45 am on 9 March 2009

The chief suggestions to emerge from last week's job summit are unlikely to go far enough, warns the Council of Trade Unions.

Twenty-one ideas, including a nine-day working fortnight, were identified at the summit as viable ways to keep and create jobs during the recession.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly, who is helping implement the nine-day fortnight, says progress has been swift. Cabinet will discuss the issue on Monday.

However, Ms Kelly says she is concerned that this and other ideas may not go far enough. She says Australia and the United States are investing far more in infrastructure, and she thinks New Zealand should also do more.

The president of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, Andrew Little, says the proposal needs to be brought forward, in view of recent job loss announcements.

Mr Little says waiting any longer than a week or two could be too late.

He says two employers called him last week saying jobs would be saved by the nine-day fortnight, and it needs to be in place now.