New Zealand firm bans union on religious grounds

Company uses little-known labour exemption to prevent union from talking to staff
||Last Updated: 09/09/2004

A New Zealand lab is taking advantage of a little-known labour law that allows it to bar unions from its workplace on religious grounds.

Auckland’s Fort Richardson Laboratories was able to bar the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union from talking to its staff. According to published reports in New Zealand, the law applies when an individual employer is a member of a religious society and employs fewer than 20 workers.

Maurice Clist, company director for Fort Richardson Laboratories, said he was doing nothing wrong or illegal.