17 October 2006
Low Paid Workers Tackling Poverty Head On
"While there is clearly an international focus for Global Poverty day, events today are sending a message that there is poverty in this country too," CTU president Ross Wilson told a union rally in Wellington.
"Make Poverty History Aotearoa adopted the global goals of more overseas aid, cancelling debt and fair trade - and also called for a systematic plan and timetable from government to end child poverty in New Zealand."
"The low wages that far too many New Zealand workers are paid has a direct impact on thousands of poor families, and contributes to our unacceptable rates of child poverty."
"Many low paid workers such as cleaners, retail workers, hospital staff and clothing workers are women. When the minimum wage increased in March this year, 91,000 workers got a pay rise, 61,000 of whom are women. 61,000 working women should not have to rely on the minimum wage increases to see a pay rise."
"Our low wages needed to be tackled head on, with a $12 minimum wage now, not in 2008."
The Service and Food Workers Union marked International Day for the Eradication of World Poverty with rallies in Wellington at 12 noon today, and in Auckland at Britomart at 5pm tonight.