Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson has welcomed the passing of a new bill that will make it compulsory for unions to use secret ballots when workers vote whether to strike.
The Employment Relations (Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today.
The members’ bill, put forward by Hon Tau Henare, requires unions to hold a secret ballot for their members when voting on strike action.
“I congratulate Mr Henare on the passing of his bill. Most unions already use secret ballots and this bill will ensure that all other unions follow this practice,” Ms Wilkinson says.
“Strikes can be incredibly stressful, both financially and mentally. Workers have differing personal circumstances so it is only fair that any vote on whether to strike is made in private.
“This law will provide protection for any workers who may feel judged by colleagues or intimidated through a voting process that does not use secret ballots.”
Ms Wilkinson says while there is a two year transition period, she expects all unions to move to secret ballots as soon as practicable.
Source: Ministry of Labour