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Warehouse & FIRST Union living wage pledge big step forward

Press release: Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand
7 May 2013
Warehouse and FIRST Union living wage pledge big step forward

The Living Wage movement received a boost this morning with the announcement of a major retail chain moving towards a living wage for its workers.

This morning The Warehouse Group announced that their introduction of a Career Retailer Wage drew on the work of Living Wage Aotearoa to research and define what an adequate income is in order for people to meet their needs and participate in society, not just survive.

“So far it has been largely small businesses and NGOs that had been first to come on-board. Today has seen the first corporate make a commitment to a living wage, and we congratulate The Warehouse and FIRST Union for making this happen,” said Annie Newman, National Convenor of Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The clear signal from The Warehouse is that workers need decent incomes that enable them participate in society and lead decent lives.  It’s great to see a large corporate acknowledge the business benefits of paying a living wage and commit to taking steps to becoming a living wage employer.”

Annie Newman said The Warehouse’s statement today about better staff engagement and lower turnover leading to increased business performance would mirror the experience of overseas employers who have embraced the living wage, who have seen staff retention and loyalty improve.

“Living Wage Aotearoa looks forward to meeting with The Warehouse management to discuss implementation of the living wage in the company.”

“We are working on an employer accreditation scheme, similar to successful Living Wage accreditation overseas. All accredited employers will need to be paying all employees the living wage, including contracted staff such as cleaners and security guards.”

“Well done The Warehouse and FIRST Union and we look forward to seeing other employers embrace the New Zealand living wage and implement it across their businesses,” Annie Newman said.


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