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Wages rise thanks to Fair Share

August 8, 2005

Wages rise thanks to Fair Share

New Zealand wage rates are rising on the back of the union-led Fair Share – Five in ’05 wages campaign, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

Statistics New Zealand figures out today show the largest annual increase in wages since the Labour Cost Index began in 1993, with an average pay increase in the quarter to June of five per cent.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that the union had set out to lift the take-home pay of working New Zealanders.

“On February 27, we launched the Fair Share – Five in ‘05 campaign as a deliberate strategy to lift New Zealand wages,” he said.

“New Zealand had become an economy where workers earned low wages while many employers and shareholders were making huge profits. There is still a long way to go, but today’s figures show that we are starting to make way.”

According to Statistics New Zealand, the LCI rose 0.7 per cent in the June quarter, up from 0.5 per cent in the previous quarter. The annual rise to June was 2.7 per cent, the largest annual increase recorded.

The report highlights the furniture and manufacturing sector, where wages and salaries increased 1.4 per cent in the quarter to June (up from 1.1 per cent in the March quarter) with an annual increase to June of 3.1 per cent.

Mr Little said that this was clear evidence of the success of the Fair Share campaign.

“We have driven this campaign through the manufacturing and furniture sector, and have so far delivered pay increases of five per cent or more to nearly 7000 manufacturing workers,” he said.

“It is those figures that are now starting to come through and are showing up in the statistics,” he said.

The report shows that for workers who got a pay rise in the June quarter, the mean increase was five per cent.

ENDS

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