19 April 2005
Poor-paying Employers Rich in Excuses
Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson is outraged at the idea that workers should miss out on a pay rise because of the high value of the New Zealand dollar.
He said the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce was looking for excuses when it said that export firms were struggling so couldn't afford to pay their workers a fair share.
"How many more excuses are employers going to come up with?" he said. "Our workers have no control over foreign currency fluctuations but at the end of the day they're expected to carry the can.”
Some employers kept raising the bar of excuses for not giving pay rises.
“First they say they’re not making enough, then profits rise so they say productivity is still too low to justify pay rises. And now they are blaming the exchange rate.”
Ross Wilson said he could not remember employers being generous when the NZ dollar was low. “We'd all be blue in the face if we waited for exporters to pass on their extra profits when the Kiwi dollar is low."