7 June 2006
Sylvia Park – a high point for low pay
The union representing retail workers says that pace of big mall developments gives “even greater urgency to our campaigns to lift the basic wages and working conditions of retail workers and to scrap youth rates.”
National Secretary of the National Distribution Union, Laila Harré, has described the opening of the Mt Wellington Sylvia Park mall this week as “a high point for low pay”.
“The massive expansion of the corporate retail sector in New Zealand is being built on discriminatory youth rates and adult rates that fall well below the minimum rates of pay in the countries we aim to catch up with.
“We’ve heard a lot of talk about the difference between Australian and New Zealand incomes lately. The fact is that that the Australians companies that are expanding in New Zealand are paying much less to their New Zealand workforce than their Australian one – and mostly they are also charging their New Zealand customers more.
“New Zealand shop workers and customers are being treated like an ATM machine for overseas investors” said Laila Harré.
The National Distribution Union is calling for the abolition of youth rates, a minimum wage of $12 an hour and secure hours of work for all retail workers.