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$12 min wage needed sooner rather than later

$12 min wage needed sooner rather than later

The Council of Trade Unions will be campaigning for public support in 2006 for the speedier introduction of a $12 minimum wage for all workers.

Speaking at the Unite Union community panel in Auckland today, CTU President Ross Wilson said the CTU joined with other concerned community representatives in calling for a minimum wage increase now, and an end to youth rates.

"A $12 minimum wage is totally justifiable on both equity and economic development grounds," said Ross Wilson. "The CTU wants the government to phase in a minimum wage of two thirds of the average adult wage, as recommended by the International Labour Organisation, and we see an increase to $12 now as a step in that direction."

"The CTU also supports the removal of the age differential for the minimum wage by scrapping youth rates. We support fair pay for a fair day's work, and we look forward to campaigning alongside other community groups this year for the abolishment of youth rates and a speedier increase in the minimum wage to $12 per hour," said Ross Wilson.

"Poverty only exists in New Zealand as long as we continue to tolerate it. The low wages that far too many New Zealand workers are paid has a direct impact on thousands of poor families, and contributes to our unacceptable rates of child poverty. Action is needed now on New Zealand's low wage crisis, and an immediate increase in the minimum wage would make a real difference to many low paid workers," said Ross Wilson.

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