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Companies Need to Step Up on Low Wages

CTU MEDIA RELEASE 18 December 2006

Companies Need to Step Up on Low Wages

"Unions will continue to put the heat on companies who stubbornly pay rates at around the minimum wage level and who are responsible for our low wage crisis," CTU secretary Carol Beaumont said today.

"A new $11.25 minimum wage is a strong signal to employers - who have not been sharing the benefits of economic growth with workers and despite persistent skills and labour shortages are still too slow to recognise the need to increase pay."

"We think conditions exist now for $12 minimum wage, but this increase effectively locks in a move to at least $12 as the next step."

"Today's movement is another good increase and keeps up the momentum with a 61 per cent increase in the minimum wage since 1999, compared with National who froze the minimum wage for years during their last term in office. "

"Unions will continue working at an industry level to increase workers' share of the economic pie through collective bargaining, and at a regulatory level - to ensure that the minimum wage is regularly increased, with an aim of indexing the minimum rate at 2/3rds of the average wage."

"We will also campaign hard over summer for public support for equal pay for young workers - by supporting the proposal to scrap youth rates for 16 and 17 year old workers."

ENDS

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