22 Aug 2010

Protest rallies against new labour laws

4:31 am on 22 August 2010

Protest rallies against changes to the country's labour laws have been held in the main centres, in a bid to try to force the Government to back down.

Hundreds of people turned out in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to voice their opposition to the changes, which include extending the 90-day trial for new workers to all employers.

In the capital's Civic Square about 700 people gathered waving flags, banners and chanting, as union representatives spoke against the amendments.

Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little says the changes will be bad for workers and employers but he's confident the protests will force the Government to have a change of heart.

However, the head of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Peter Townsend, says that the opposition will recede.

Unions are promising further protest action in the coming months, including a day of action in October that will include stopwork meetings in all the major centres.