CTU MEDIA RELEASE
18 May 2007
Industrial Strife? Pull The Other One!
“It is more than a bit rich for business interests and the National party to moan about a 4% employer superannuation contribution when the government are fronting up with the majority of the money for it,” CTU president Ross Wilson said today.
“Quite frankly employers need to get over it and see the benefits it will bring not just to their workplaces but to the wider economy,” Ross Wilson said. “The minimal amount they will pay is in stark contrast to their closest competitors, Australia, where employers are required to contribute 9%.”
“There are always a range of issues up for negotiation during collective bargaining, and superannuation is not new to this area. Unions will be putting up their case for fair wage increases alongside a range of other issues, including superannuation, and it is silly for business to suggest this will provoke widespread industrial problems.”
“The low wages that far too many workers are on is absolutely an issue and it is standing in the way of saving for retirement for many people.”
“National are, unsurprisingly, silent on what to do about it though. They are silent on increasing the minimum wage, and they are silent on supporting a strengthening of collective bargaining provisions in the Employment Relations Act so that low wages can be addressed at an industry level by workers and employers.”
“What workers need is a substantial lift in their wages, not tax cuts that favour the rich,” Ross Wilson said. “We will be promoting collective bargaining as the best way to put more money into workers’ pockets through decent wage increases.”
“Unions will also look carefully at transitional arrangements in the Bill to see if there is an ability for workers to agree prior to April next year to go halves with their employer in a 2 plus 2 arrangement for a 4 per cent contribution into KiwiSaver, and maintain that arrangement for a period beyond next year as well as attract the member tax credit,” Ross Wilson said.