Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota Media Release
30 July 2014
Time to lift unliveable wage rates
The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates.
The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy.
“Despite rising productivity in New Zealand real wages for low-income workers have fallen in the last six years,” said Service and Food Workers Union National Secretary John Ryall.
“Our union supports Labour proposals to increase real wages for tens of thousands of low-income workers through a $2 an hour increase in the minimum wage, the promotion of living wage rates to core state workers and those employed by state contractors and the restoration of the workplace rights that National has removed.”
John Ryall said SFWU also welcomed the commitment that a Labour-led Government will promote industry-wide collective agreements to stop good employers being undermined by competitors who pay unliveable wage rates and rely on the social welfare system to subsidise them.
“Increasing wage rates is not just good for the low-income workers and families directly affected, but is good for all New Zealanders as the money is circulated through the economy,” he said.
The SFWU represents 22,000 of New Zealand’s lowest paid workers in cleaning, caregiving, security, food processing and other jobs in the service sector.