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A $12 minimum wage for all workers

A $12 minimum wage for all workers

The Green Party is launching its industrial relations policy on a picket line in Wellington this morning, promising to push for a $12 minimum wage for all Kiwi workers, including 16- and 17-year-olds.

Green Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford is launching the policy at a picket by Service and Food Workers' Union members outside the Hadleigh Home & Hospital in Newtown, Wellington.

"I think it is highly appropriate that we are launching our industrial policy on a picket line outside a resthome," Ms Bradford said. "Workers in the aged and disability care sector are among some of the most underpaid and undervalued in the country.

"These workers deserve the 5 percent wage increase their employer is refusing to give them. They also deserve a minimum wage of $12 an hour.

"The Greens think all workers in New Zealand, including those aged 16 and 17, should be getting $12 an hour as an absolute minimum.

"It is not good enough to go on having the taxpayers propping up employers to such an extent as currently occurs through Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement. We believe employers should pay more of their share through a higher minimum wage and better conditions for all workers, not just some."

Some highlights of the Green Party's industrial relations policy include:

• Raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour, including for 16- and 17-year-old workers.

• Retain the Employment Relations Act and its amendments, and strengthen the rights of workers to organise, bargain collectively, and have access to multi-party bargaining.

• Support the right to strike for significant political, economic and environmental reasons - not just on employment matters.

• Bring forward 4 weeks holiday for all.

• Support Sue Kedgley's Flexible Working Hours Bill.

• Introduce legislation to progress pay and employment equity.

• Improve employment rights and increase protection for casual, seasonal, fixed term and temporary workers.

• Support for the current union '5% in 05' campaign.

"The Green Party endorses the Industrial Relations reforms announced by Labour earlier this week, but would like to remind workers and unions that it is highly unlikely Labour will be in a position to get any of these through without the support of a strong Green representation in the next Parliament," Ms Bradford said.

"It's critical that workers and unions understand the need keep a National-led Government out of office. Otherwise, we will go back to the dark days of the early 90s, or worse. Dr Brash is threatening to dismantle the ERA, bring back forced work for the dole, and institute a 90 day rule which would see workers sacked at will in their first three months on the job."

The full policy is available at: http://www.greens.co.nz/searchdocs/policy9065.html

For more information, contact Sue Bradford, MP: 027-243-4239 or Michael Appleton, Media Officer: 021-682-952

The picket that Ms Bradford will be joining is at 8am, outside Hadleigh Home & Hospital, Constable St, Newtown, Wellington.

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