The union-friendly Employment Relations Act should not have much impact in the industry, says Information Technology Association executive director Jim O'Neill.
Meanwhile, the unions claim their 0800-1UNION hotline has been ringing hot since the new act came into force this month, with the EPMU gaining "some" members from the IT sector.
O'Neill says most IT employers are "pretty good" at maintaining positive staff relations. However, large companies, such as Telecom and other telcos, plus call centres, can expect to see greater unionisation. He expects they know this and are preparing for it.
The IT industry's main concern with the legislation concerned the status of contractors. The draft bill had planned to allow contractors to be classed as permanent workers, which upset many employers. However, after lobbying from the industry, the status quo remains, with contractors remaining contractors as long as this is acceptable to both parties when a job begins.
Some issues still have to be tested, O'Neill says, but time will tell. "We are not too unhappy about the ERA but we will keep tabs on it," O'Neill says.
EPMU spokesperson Adelia Hallett claims 200-300 signed up with her union within the first half of last week. New recruits were mainly engineers, mechaniucs, freelance journalists, with "some in IT", she says.