Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Migrant Workers Strike against Poverty Wages

Migrant Workers Strike against Poverty Wages and WTO

Press Release: SuperSizeMyPay.Com / Unite Union Saturday, 17 December 2005


Striking Pizza Hut workers served up pieces of a giant pizza for a fair slice of the multinational brands profits and to raise awareness of the disproportionate number of migrant workers living on minimum wage in New Zealand.

The strike is the third Unite strike at a multinational brand and follows the world’s first Starbucks strike and a youth-led strike at KFC against age based pay discrimination. It forms part of the www.supersizemypay.com campaign for a NZ$12 minimum wage, no youth rates and secure hours.

Strikers and supporters held banners with “No WTO, No Poverty Wages” and “Nga kaimahi o te ao/Workers of the world - Unite”. Placards carried read “Workers of the world Unite” in 15 different languages including the languages of the main New Zealand migrant groups.

Nista Singh, 17, union delegate, held a placard in her native Nepalese tongue.

“These multinationals’ endless drive to increase profits leads them to hire vulnerable migrant workers to help maintain low labour costs. This has an overall effect of lowering the value of all workers and increasing gap between rich and poor, locally and globally,” Ms Singh said.

“New Zealand’s minimum wage is only NZ$9.50 for those 18 and over, $7.60 for 16 and 17 years old and there is no legal minimum for those under 16. One of my striking co-workers only earns $6.89 before tax,” she said.

Anti-union laws which deunionised most workers in the private sector led to wages dropping in New Zealand by 6.5% between 1980-2001 whilst they rose by 28.8% in Australia, 39.5% in Canada, 59.9% in UK and 68.2% Finland. During the same two decades corporate profits went from 34% of GDP to 46% and wages as a share of GDP fell from 57% to 42%.”

SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign co-ordinator, Simon Oosterman said that the strike was a part of international protests against the meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Hong Kong and the global fight for economic justice.

“Our campaign in New Zealand serves as a lesson to all workers from around the world. Fast food workers are fighting for wages and conditions that are only a fraction of what was lost when the neo-liberal policies promoted by the WTO were introduced with vigour in New Zealand during the 1980’s,” he said.

“Those hardest hit by attempts to erode basic labour rights and to maintain poverty-level minimum wages, are those most vulnerable members of our community: migrants, indigenous peoples, women, youth and the disabled.”

“Many migrant workers leave their own countries because of poverty caused by neo-liberalism, only to get stuck in low paying jobs in their new home country, caused by those very same policies.”

“The WTO serves the interests of corporations – minimum wages equals maximum profits.”

“Whether it is South Korean farmers fighting to protect their livelihoods at the WTO, or Immokalee tomato pickers fighting for fair wages against McDonalds in the USA, or fast food workers striking in Aotearoa New Zealand – we are calling for all workers to unite internationally against corporate globalisation,” he concluded.

ENDS

www.supersizemypay.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Grey Power: Is Disappointed To Learn Of More Bank Closures

Many older people are being left without essential services because of cost cutting and the march of modern technology. It is now expected that most banking transactions can occur via the internet or telephone. Jan Pentecost, President of the Grey Power ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Supply Chain On Brink Of Overload Says National Road Carriers

The New Zealand supply chain is on the brink of overload and it looks like the upcoming peak imports season may push it over the edge says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) CEO David Aitken. “Worldwide supply chains are in disarray,” says Mr Aitken. ... More>>

Retail: Supermarkets Announced As Government’s Second Market Study

The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: Retail Sales Recover In The September 2020 Quarter

Retail sales values recorded the largest September quarter rise since the series began in 1995, Stats NZ said today. Spending on major household items, vehicles, and groceries contributed to the strong 7.4 percent ($1.8 billion) rise in total ... More>>

Kea Aerospace: New Zealand Flies Into The Stratosphere

Development has started on a solar-powered, unmanned aircraft that can fly in the stratosphere continuously for months at a time. The zero-emission aircraft will carry a suite of imagery equipment that will be game-changing for many industries, vastly ... More>>

Stats NZ: Births And Deaths: Year Ended September 2020

Births and deaths releases provide statistics on the number of births and deaths registered in New Zealand, and selected fertility and mortality rates. Key facts For the year ended September 2020: 57,753 live births and 32,670 deaths ... More>>

ALSO:


Forest & Bird: Kākāpō Wins Bird Of The Year 2020

The nation has voted and Aotearoa New Zealand has a new Bird of the Year. New Zealand’s moss-colored flightless parrot has climbed to the top-spot for the second time in Forest & Bird’s annual Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau/Bird of the Year competition. ... More>>