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Clothing company tactics must be stopped

18 April 2006

Clothing company tactics must be stopped

The Government must act quickly to prevent a clothing company from avoiding its obligation to pay its workers the new minimum wage, or risk other businesses following suit, the Green Party says.

Despite the efforts of the Clothing, Laundry and Allied Workers' union, Palmerston North-based Everest Fashions still plans to go ahead with stripping its workers of allowances so that it does not have to increase their base pay rates to the $10.25 minimum wage.

"It is hard to see how this company feels it has the right to treat its workers in this way, it is just so unfair," Greens' Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"These kind of tactics are shocking and insulting to staff.

"I am even more appalled that the company claims to have been given approval for its move by the Government's own Employment Relations Service.

"To allow, and even condone, this type of behaviour undermines the good work done by those battling to give low-paid New Zealanders a liveable wage," Ms Bradford says.

"It sets an unfortunate precedent that other employers could follow in future. A stop must be put to this immediately.

"Everest Fashions management should be ashamed of themselves for trying to squirm their way out of paying their loyal workers the minimum wage rise they are entitled to," Ms Bradford says.

ENDS

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