Businesses face shutdowns because employees want lunch breaks


You don't think of a country as bucolic as New Zealand as being a hotbed for worker abuse (imagine a sheep standing on the lunchroom table with a "Union" sign), yet the introduction of some new laws mandating rest breaks has thrown employers for a loop. Many are threatening closure and service reductions simply because their workers are now guaranteed a specified schedule of lunch breaks.

Air New Zealand has threatened to cut 25 domestic flights by regional carriers because air traffic controllers will now be required to take a breather at set times. Now 2,500 seats and $3 million in revenue are on the chopping block because changes to that country's Employment Relations Act allowed the Air Line Pilots Association to require workers to take breaks at scheduled times rather than on a flexible basis.