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Ministers tells workers the emperor has clothes

Andrew
LITTLE

Labour Spokesperson

13 May 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Ministers tells workers the emperor has clothes

Government Ministers seem to think if they simply say wages are growing, workers will believe it despite nearly half the workforce being unable to get a pay rise, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

“National Ministers are desperate to convince hardworking Kiwis the benefits of the growing economy are being fairly shared by all. Clearly they aren’t.

“Bill English, Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges today told Parliament wages are growing but figures released last week show 46 per cent of wage and salary earners did not get a pay increase last year.

“The Labour Cost Index which measures the change in wage rates increased 1.6 per cent and the quarterly employment survey showed earnings, which includes additional hours worked by part-timers and full-timers, rose by 2.5 per cent.

“The real measure of whether the gains in the economy are being shared is whether pay rates are going up. These figures show they are barely keeping pace with the cost of living.

“If the Government truly believed what they say, they would be prepared to talk with workers face to face, and without the boss present. I regularly meet with workers’ groups who scoff at the Ministers’ claims.

“Labour will protect the right of workers to negotiate collectively with their employer and to engage in multi-employer bargaining. We will focus on lifting wages so all Kiwis get their fair share of the benefits of an improving economy,” Andrew Little says.

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