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Rally Against Youth Minimum Rates Today

Tuesday February 14 2006

Youth Union Movement

Wellington Rally Against Youth Minimum Rates Today

Today (Tues): Manners Mall at 4pm, to Parliament at 4.45pm

The Youth Union Movement is holding a rally for young workers this afternoon, starting at Manners Mall at 4pm, and ending up at Parliament at 4.45pm. MP Sue Bradford, whose Private Members Bill ending youth rates will be discussed this month, will meet the group at Parliament.

Youth Union Movement spokesperson Grace Millar said there had been a lot of interest in the campaigns in support of a $12 minimum wage and against youth rates this year, in particular the SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign.

"At present workers aged 16 and 17 years have a minimum pay rate of $7.60 an hour, which is just 80% of the minimum wage for adults," said Grace Millar. "Despite the much lower pay rate employers expect young workers to do exactly the same work as everyone else."

"If you're under 16 years old there is no minimum wage protection at all, and employers can pay whatever they want. This means you can get 15 year olds stacking supermarket shelves or making pizza for $5 an hour."

"Youth rates hurt all workers, because employers use the low amount they can pay young workers to drive everyone else's wages down," said Grace Millar. "We are calling for equal pay for equal work and for government to end this legal form of discrimination."


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