Coalition Government will 'not be used and abused' - Winston Peters

Morning Talk 11/12/2018

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has come in full swing of the Air New Zealand strike planned for one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Over 40,000 customers could be affected if engineering employees carry on with the planned strike on December 21.

But if the union thinks the Government will "buckle down" to strike demands because of its less than convenient timing,  Mr Peters says they've made a big mistake.

"We're not going to be used and abused," Mr Peters told RadioLIVE's Mark Sainsbury.

The coalition Government has certainly seen its fair share of industrial action in 2018, with nationwide strikes held by nurses and secondary school teachers.

Mr Peters clarified that while the Government has done its best for the nurses, the reality is, they can't solve everything in the first Budget. 

"We want people to be reasonable here. And we're not anti-worker, we're not anti-business… We are like the referee who makes sure that no one on either side abuses the system in which they're operating."

Air New Zealand and unions are currently in urgent mediation  in a bid to avoid cancelled flights for domestic and international travellers.

While the union insists they are striking over critical pay and working conditions, the airline says the staff are using the holidays to strengthen their message.

"If they think we are going to buckle to that, then as Muhammad Ali would say, if they even dream they could win, they should wake up and apologise," Mr Peters said. 

Listen to the full interview with Winston Peters above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.