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Greens support campaign to upsize minimum wage

23 November 2005

Greens support campaign to upsize minimum wage

The Green Party supports Unite's 'Supersize My Pay' campaign being launched with a strike and picket at an Auckland Starbucks this afternoon, Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"Starbucks' workers are typical of those who have been left to languish in the low wage sector of the economy. All workers in New Zealand, including those aged 16 and 17, should be getting $12 an hour as an absolute minimum.

"Taxpayers should not be subsidising employers through Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement. Employers should pay enough for their workers to live on and not leave it to the Government to make up the difference. That means a higher minimum wage and better conditions for all workers.

"Workers in the fast food industry are particularly vulnerable, often receiving little more, if any, than the minimum wage of $9.50 an hour, or $7.60 for those aged under 18, with little or no job security. These workers deserve significant wage increases, rather than the taxpayer subsidies offered to some by Labour.

"While the Greens welcome the Government's commitment to increase the minimum wage, three years is far too long for these low-wage workers to have to wait to achieve this. Government should act now to increase the minimum wage for all workers to $12 an hour," Ms Bradford says.

ENDS

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