Having Your Say on the Future of Your Industry

Submission on the Advanced Manufacturing Draft Industry Transformation Plan

Delivery of an advanced manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan will be an essential step in creating a more resilient economy in New Zealand. This plan - along with others, if well aligned with other areas of activity including infrastructure investment, education, and regulatory changes, will play a key part in our country’s economic transformation.

We support the Advanced Manufacturing Draft ITP for the following reasons, and with the following recommendations for improvement:

In general, this is an excellent plan, and the many voices that contributed to it are evident in the draft. It is vital that this tripartite-plus approach continues through the implementation. Currently, workers are at a significant resource disadvantage. For the plan to be sustainable and to bring about true transformation, workers must be able to continue to contribute in meaningful ways. This requires more than wage replacement. Investment from the Government in capacity for the CTU to continue its contribution will be vital to ensure this plan’s success.

Working people have had a voice through their unions in developing a draft industry transformation plan for manufacturing – working alongside employers and the government. In developing the AMITP, union delegates and leaders on the Steering Group pushed hard for all working people to have high wage/high skill jobs -with collective agreements, support for learning and training, and safe, healthy, and inclusive workplaces, where we can unlock everyone’s creative potential.

The AMITP will make significant and lasting changes in the manufacturing sector, and it is important working people have a say on the plan to ensure there the future is about meaningful work, high wages, high skills, and secure employment.

Please, either sign the open letter, or send MBIE a written submission by 5pm 13 July 2022 by emailing [email protected]

To whom it may concern,

We support the Advanced Manufacturing Draft Industry Transformation Plan for the following reasons, and with the following recommendations for improvement:

In general this is an excellent plan, and the many voices that contributed to it are evident in the draft. It is vital that this tripartite-plus approach continues through the implementation. Currently, workers are at a significant resource disadvantage. For the plan to be sustainable and to bring about true transformation, workers must be able to continue to contribute in meaningful ways. This requires more than wage replacement. Investment from the Government in capacity for the CTU to continue its contribution will be vital to ensure this plan’s success.

Priority two: Increasing investment in advanced technologies and processes to lift productivity and workers’ wages

Advanced technologies and processes can contribute to more satisfying, safer and more productive work.

This priority area would be enhanced by another initiative in this section of the plan: a tripartite commitment to sector-wide collective bargaining.

Wage growth has lagged behind productivity growth over the past 30 years in Aotearoa, and health and safety outcomes have been poor. Low levels of collective bargaining explain this lag.[1]

All parties to the plan are committed to decent work and higher wages. We need to use the main known mechanism to achieve good health and safety and wage outcomes for workers, ie, collective bargaining.

Priority four: Attracting and developing a diverse high-skilled and high-wage workforce:

The tripartite approach in the draft to skills and workforce planning is excellent. It will be excellent having Hanga-Aro-Rau playing an active role in this work. We also strongly support the intention to have training entitlements for workers.

To support this priority, we would like to see initiative 12 strengthened so that workers have a statutory entitlement to training, and have a legal right to a workplace-based Learning Representative programme.

Learning Representatives would be trained, and advocate for:

lifelong learning,

building a learning culture in the workplace,

helping overcome learners’ barriers to learning,

raising awareness of numeracy and literacy issues, and

promoting company training options and integration of staff into industry training initiatives.

The Government would fund this programme, and it would be administered by unions. It would create an on-the-ground community of worker representatives who could engage with Hanga-Aro-Rau in their work.

Priority five: Creating a leading, sustainable circular net-zero emissions sector

It is excellent to be working towards a zero-emissions sector.

Experience in the Just Transition Centre of the International Trade Union Confederation[2] shows that the most effective way to transition to sustainable practices is for existing firms to transform themselves. This could mean that current firms change not only their methods, but also the things they produce.

To enhance the plan under this section, we propose strengthening the input of te Ao Māori, with long-term horizons, and a vision for Papatuānuku that will really challenge manufacturing to transform.

This section would also benefit from greater tripartite involvement. Practical mechanisms to ensure this include enhanced workplace democracy, with elected union delegates contributing to green transformation plans. In order to ensure that current firms are transformed, worker input at firm level will be required.

This could start with the election and recognition of ‘Green’ Reps, who can discuss with employers ideas to tackle energy savings for the manufacturing processes, heating and light, travelling to work, recycling and other green initiatives.

This initiative would need to be supported by Government funding, and strong collective bargaining rights to ensure workers and employers can negotiate effective systems for their circumstances.

Yours,

 

[1] https://www.imf.org/Publications/fandd/issues/2020/12/rebuilding-worker-power-mishel; https://www.epi.org/unequalpower/publications/workers-and-economists-oecd/

[2] https://www.ituc-csi.org/just-transition-centre-599

 

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