Bridges has a tough job, CTU says
Tuesday 22 Jan 2013 2:33 p.m.
New Labour Minister Simon Bridges (L) and Prime Minister John Key
The Council of Trade Unions has some big issues it wants to discuss with new Labour Minister Simon Bridges.
Mr Bridges was promoted and given the portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister John Key today.
He was previously a minister outside cabinet with minor portfolios.
CTU president Helen Kelly says he's been given a tough job.
"There are many challenges in this portfolio that previous ministers in this government have failed to satisfactorily address," she said.
"They include health and safety, lifting the minimum wage and addressing the major problem of precarious work with so many on casual, contracting or short-term employment arrangements."
Ms Kelly says the Government plans to make "significant negative employment law changes" this year and she's hoping Mr Bridges will change track.
"The CTU is looking forward to an opportunity to discuss these major issues."
Kate Wilkinson resigned as labour minister in November last year after the Pike River royal commission report revealed serious flaws in the way the department handled safety at the mine, where explosions killed 29 men in November 2010.
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson handled labour in a caretaker role until Mr Bridges was appointed.
Ms Wilkinson, who stayed in cabinet and held conservation, was sacked in today's reshuffle.