29 Jul 2010

Head of US union pulls out of official visit to NZ

12:05 pm on 29 July 2010

The head of the largest union group in the United States has pulled out of an official trip to New Zealand because of proposed changes to labour laws here.

Richard Trumka, was scheduled to visit early next year as part of the Government's efforts to negotiate a regional trade deal involving the US.

CTU president Helen Kelly says she introduced Trade Minister Tim Groser to Mr Trumka in Washington and an official invitation was extended after that meeting.

Ms Kelly says trade unions in the US represent a strong voice on trade and the Government's changes to labour laws here could undermine its efforts to convince American politicians of the value of Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

She says the CTU has been in contact with Mr Trumka over National's labour law changes and as a result the American is no longer coming to New Zealand.