11 August 2005
CTU Challenges National to Come Clean on the Minimum Wage
The CTU is challenging National to come clean on its minimum wage policy.
“There may be some difficulty here because Don Brash is confused and out of touch,” Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
“He is on record (Listener, August 13-19) as saying he believes the minimum wage is $8.50 an hour, when in fact it is $9.50.”
Brash’s confusion illustrates National’s indifference to the issues that face workers, especially young workers, Carol Beaumont said. “Their record with youth is not good. “
The National-NZ First government in the 1990s froze the minimum wage for 18 and 19-year-olds at a miserable $4.20 an hour. The adult minimum stayed at $7.
“What we can’t afford right now is an exodus of young people, looking for a better deal across the Tasman,” she said. “With our current low levels of unemployment the country needs skilled workers.”