February 19, 2008
Key caught lying on wages
Revelations National Party leader John Key has told business he “would love to see wages drop” show the real face of the National Party’s wage agenda says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The comment was made in late December last year to the Kerikeri District Business Association and directly conflicts with his claim on Morning Report last week that a National government “will raise wages”.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says Key needs to explain to workers why he wants their wages to drop.
“New Zealand workers are already getting paid thirty percent less than their Australian counterparts and John Key seems to think this gap should be bigger. That contradicts what he’s telling the public and it puts a lie to his claim a National government would lift wages.
“We have feared that National’s agenda would be to drive down wages as they did when they were last in power, and this comment from Key suggests nothing has changed.
“Every time the issue of wages has been raised the National Party has tried to turn it into a discussion about tax cuts. Now we know why.”
The EPMU is New Zealand’s largest private sector union and represents fifty thousand workers across eleven industries.
In 2006 the EPMU led the campaign to defeat the National Party’s bill to take all rights from workers during the first 90 days in a new job.