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Radical Youth to Picket against Youth Exploitation


Radical Youth to Picket against Youth Exploitation

(Youth Rates are helping keep the children of New Zealand and their parents in poverty)

The Auckland based anti-capitalist group Radical Youth is calling on all Aucklanders to participate in a picket this Saturday against youth rates.

Paying Youth rates contributes to the growing youth poverty crisis and the poverty of all workers in New Zealand. A recent University of Otago study that interviewed young people revealed many youth wanted more money for their families to meet basic house expenses like rent and food bills. This is no surprise with 3 out of 10 New Zealand youth living in poverty (at a conservative estimate).

In New Zealand, 16-17 year olds can be legally paid $7.60 an hour ($304 for a working week, 80% of adult minimum wage) for the same work as an 18-year- old. Under-16-year-olds can be paid whatever the employer decides. Paying young people a lower wage for equal work is discrimination; pure and simple. Young people are paid less simply because they are not deemed ‘adults’ by the government and employers.

A 2004 income survey put the average wage for full-time 15-19 year olds at $9.50 with 20-24 year olds expected to earn $12.70. This indicates a massive pay inequality based on age, largely a result of youth rates. We do the same work in the same jobs as everyone else, yet are paid even worse wages.

Youth rates are bad for everyone. It encourages companies to hire youth in the place of adults so they can save money on wages which increase their profit margins. This forces more children to seek employment so they can supplement their family income, encouraging patterns of exploitative youth employment and a low wage environment which develops into a cycle of poverty

Radical Youth demands that under eighteen year olds are not treated as second class citizens and should be paid at equal rates to all other New Zealanders.

Radical Youth calls upon young people and workers to demand the government and employers take steps to ensure that they are paid a fair and equal wage.


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