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Do you want wages with your fries?

Do you want wages with your fries?
Angeline Greensill, Hauraki-Waikato candidate for Maori Party Wednesday 5 November 2008

Hauraki-Waikato candidate, Angeline Greensill is supporting the call of union members from around Hamilton and Auckland, for urgent action to increase low pay.

“Maori workers are disproportionately represented amongst the lowpaid” said Greensill. “At a median income of $20,900, Maori are earning on average $270 per week less than Pakeha - who have a median income of $25,400”.

"What's particularly distressing about that statistic is the difference between the 2008 stats and the 2000 data-in 2000, Maori earned on average $119 per week less than Pakeha; so the gap has become a chasm".

“This week's employment figures leave little room for optimism” said Mrs Greensill. “They confirm that the number of jobs is shrinking, with particular tension in both the manufacturing and transport sectors”.

"The Maori Party is calling on the government to invest in protecting workers against job losses - they're in a lot better position to wear the cost than families that are often already struggling on low wages".

“The action taken by McDonalds workers today, in burning an effigy of their corporate mascot, Ronald McDonald, is obviously timed in association with Guy Fawkes’s failed attempt to blow up the English parliament some 400 years ago” said Mrs Greensill.

“But for many Maori, 5 November reminds us of a day that has been described as the darkest day in New Zealand history”.

“5 November 1881 was the day that Native Minister John Bryce sent 1600 armed constabulary into the peaceful pa of Parihaka, leading a savage attack on the leadership of Te Whiti o Rongomai III and Tohu Kakahi”.

“The military action was designed to break the spirit of Parihaka but history tells a different story – a story of people rising up in the spirit of passive resistance”.

“And so we in the Maori Party acknowledge these low wage workers, who are rising up against low pay, unfair rostering, insecurity of hours, and poor conditions. All this after nine years of a Party who every election calls themselves the workers party, with members clamouring to establish 'working class cred', now how would that look on a Tui billboard?" asked Mrs Greensill.

“We support workers' efforts to achieve a living wage, and believe that the economy must be energized through a commitment to lift real wages”.

“The Maori Party has a strong commitment to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour” said Ms Greensill.

“We will not sit on our hands, and watch workers forced to live on poverty wages; or be silent about the hardship that their families and children experience”.


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