February 26, 2013
25 cents won't pay the rent
Twenty five cents an hour will do nothing to reduce poverty, a union for low paid workers in retail, logistics and other sector says.
The government has today announced a new minimum wage rate of $13.75, an increase of just twenty five cents.
"$13.75 is an absolute insult to hundreds of thousands of low paid workers," said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.
“It is completely impossible for a family to live on two full time minimum wage incomes, let alone if one parent is out of the paid workforce looking after children.”
"Our poverty wages see families going without food and proper housing, and whole communities being ripped off by dodgy loan sharks as it becomes the measure of last resort in desperation."
“Workers coming together in unions can lift their wages above the minimum rate, but for the many workers currently without access to unions, a floor needs to be set that is a liveable wage.”
Robert Reid said FIRST Union was fully behind the Living Wage Aotearoa campaign to bring in wage that can enable families to participate more fully in society. The rate, fully researched by an expert panel, was set earlier this month as $18.40.