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Minimum wage debate prompted by Caritas report

CTU MEDIA RELEASE 19 November 2007

Minimum age and minimum wage debate prompted by Caritas report on young workers

"Minimum rates of pay, a minimum age to work and the health and safety of young workers are welcome areas of debate prompted by the Caritas survey on young delivery workers out yesterday," CTU secretary Carol Beaumont said.

"The Caritas report raised a number of issues that need discussion and resolution, and follows on from recent attention on the work rights of young people through the campaign on youth rates."

A core issue is whether or not paper delivery workers are employed, or engaged on contract.

"A bill before Parliament addresses the important issue of minimum pay for contract workers, and debate also needs to take place on the appropriateness of young vulnerable workers being denied work rights by being engaged as contractors."

"There are a number of questions that need to be debated and resolved in NZ about the employment of young people."

"These include what if any restrictions should there be on work done by young people, should there be limits of numbers of hours worked, how can we ensure appropriate protection of young workers and what is necessary to ratify important international agreements about the employment of young people."

"Unions have been organising young workers to be aware of and improve their rights, including recent organising around youth rates and the kpy.co.nz young work rights campaign launched by the CTU Komiti Pasefika this month."

"But we can do more, and we look forward to the challenge. The report has been a welcome contribution to focusing everyone's attention on the work rights of young people," Carol Beaumont said.

ENDS

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