08 August 2005
Union Campaign Pays Off for Workers
Wage statistics show that union campaigns are winning decent pay rises for workers although there is still a long way to go, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
The Labour Cost Index shows that wages, excluding overtime, went up by 2.6 per cent for the year to June 2005.
For the June 2005 quarter the average increase for workers who actually got a pay rise was 5 per cent – the figure many unions have been campaigning for in recent months.
“Workers now have expectations of getting a fair share of economic growth and many realise that collective bargaining is the way to win a decent pay rise,” Ross Wilson said. “Unions are making good progress on wages and that is the way to put more money in workers’ pockets – not tax cuts.”
For the average worker, there was little difference in tax between Australia and New Zealand. But wages are 25 per cent lower in New Zealand than across the Tasman.
Although there have been good settlements this year, there are still far too many employers unwilling to give workers a decent pay rise, Ross Wilson said.
A recent Reserve Bank Bulletin revealed that corporate profits had gone up by 11 per cent each year from 2000 to 2004. Last week it was announced that directors’ fees went up by 20.5 per cent last year.
“Unions will continue to press for a fair share for all workers,” Ross Wilson said.