April 2, 2008
Minimum wage won’t keep skilled workers
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members at Rotorua aluminium fabrication company Bradnams Windows & Doors walked off the job this morning after negotiations broke down.
The seventeen union members, most of whom earn between $12 and $14 an hour, have been trying to get the company to honour the commitment it made last year to bring pay rates into line with their skills.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says Bradnams Windows & Doors need to clean up their act.
“It is a real indictment on Bradnams that they are paying skilled workers at such a low rate and at the same time cashing in on the biggest building boom New Zealand has seen for decades.
“The company promised last year to assess the skill level of these workers and ensure their pay was consistent with the going rate. This commitment hasn’t been honoured and they are way below comparable pay rates elsewhere in New Zealand.
“The path to long term business success is well-organised, high-wage, high-skill workers and if Bradnams think that minimum wage will keep and attract skilled workers they are kidding themselves and undermining their future growth.”
Members will meet at 7am tomorrow morning to decide on their next step.