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Government attacks on lowest paid just keep on coming

Government attacks on lowest paid just keep on coming

“The Government has put the boot into low income workers again,” said Service and Food Workers Union cleaning sector spokesperson Jill Ovens today.

“The latest attack is the removal this week of a requirement for government departments to require contractors tendering for their cleaning to pay industry standard wage rates and employment conditions and have a high level of health and safety compliance,” she said.

The Minister of Labour announced yesterday that the Government would no longer be complying with the Principles for a Sustainable Property Services Industry, which sets out some minimum employment protection for cleaners and since 2008 has been mandatory for core government cleaning contractors.

“In the same week that the Government undermined the minimum wage by allowing it to be ‘averaged’, it has also had a go at cleaners employed at Parliament and other government-owned or tenanted buildings,” said Jill Ovens.

“Despite the cleaning contractors’ organisation, the Property Services Council and Business NZ, the Council of Trade Unions and the SFWU supporting the retention of protections for these vulnerable workers, the Government has ignored their advice.

“As with this week’s amendment to the Minimum Wage Order, this Government seems intent on a race to the bottom in wage rates rather than adopting measures that could give workers, such as cleaners, a wage they could live on.”


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