A few cents won’t send workers into rock star economy
“Today’s minimum wage increase will make little difference to hard working New Zealanders living on poverty wages,” said Service and Food Workers Union National Secretary, John Ryall today.
The minimum wage increases today from $13.75 to $14.25 an hour.
“Many members of our union are on hourly rates slightly over the minimum wage and this might give them a few cents an hour more,” he said. “That might be enough for an extra bottle of milk a week, but it will not change the fact that minimum wage workers do not earn enough to live on, let alone give their kids a good start in life.”
John Ryall said anyone who thought New Zealand had a rock star economy should try living on the minimum wage.
“The so-called ‘rock star economy’ has delivered nothing at all to ordinary new Zealanders and those on very low wages are steadily sliding backwards. This increase to the minimum wage will make little difference because very low paid jobs are not providing workers and their families with the basic necessities of life,” he said.
“If the economy is doing so well, then it is time for workers and their families to get a fair share and that means a significant lift in the minimum wage and large companies taking the lead and paying their employees the living wage of $18.80.”
The SFWU has 22,000 members who work in some of New Zealand’s lowest paid jobs, including cleaning, caregiving, security and food processing.