20 October 2005
$12 an hour not unreasonable
The Council of Trade Unions says that $12 an hour is not an unreasonable level for the minimum wage, and should be applied as soon as possible.
"There is now a general acceptance that we have a low wage crisis in New Zealand," said Carol Beaumont, Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions.
"Many employers recognize that there is a skills shortage. However they need to take the next step - and realise that one solution to the skills shortage is better pay for their workers. Workers should be getting a fair share of corporate profits
"We are sick of tired rhetoric that suggests increases in the minimum wage will lead to higher levels of unemployment. The last six years stand as evidence to the contrary - a 35.7% increase in the minimum wage over the last six years has coincided with the lowest unemployment in decades."
"The CTU is rejecting the notion that a $12 increase in the minimum wage will be unmanageable by business," said Carol Beaumont. "We believe that a low minimum wage entrenches a low-wage, low-skill, low technology approach to employment, and this is not the direction New Zealand needs to be heading."
"Clearly the CTU welcomes a minimum wage level of $12 an hour. We welcome the moves the Labour led government has already made on the minimum wage increases over the last six years," said Carol Beaumont.