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Young people facing massive pay cut tomorrow

30 April 2013

Young people facing massive pay cut tomorrow

The Government will cut the minimum wage by 20% for young people tomorrow, amid calls from opponents that it won’t help the youth unemployment crisis and will cause genuine hardship.

The campaign set up to oppose the re-introduction of youth rates, Same Work Same Pay, says tomorrow is a sad day for young people in New Zealand who aren’t getting the support they need to get ahead.

Campaign Spokesperson James Sleep says “the Government will tomorrow cut the pay of young workers. With youth unemployment at crisis levels the Government is blindly implementing legislation that won’t create jobs and solve this. Cutting the pay of young people will create genuine hardship amongst thousands of young workers and their families.”

Sleep says the Government is missing the opportunity to seriously bring down youth unemployment, by failing to invest in programmes that provide young people with well supported training and job opportunities.

“Cutting the pay of young people is not a step up, it’s yet another step down for young New Zealanders who are struggling to get into work, education and training. To address youth unemployment we need a Government that is prepared to invest in younger generations, not cut their pay and cut important services that exist to get them into work or training.”

“It also means that one young person can be working alongside another and be paid 20 percent less even though he or she has more work experience”.

The Same Work Same Pay campaign is calling on employers to steer clear of youth rates.

“We welcome the decision of companies like Countdown, Pizza Hut, KFC, Subway, Bunnings and others to not use youth rates, and call on other companies to do the same.”

“Foodstuffs is a classic example of a company that can easily afford to pay proper wages, but is using the new law in an opportunist way to cut their already low wages to the barest minimum to make even more profits.”

“They are marking out their point of difference as a poverty wage employer, and it is their workers who are paying the price,” James Sleep said.

The Same Work Same Pay campaign is supporting protest action planned in Auckland tomorrow, which includes a rally outside a large retailer who plans to implement youth rates.

ENDS

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