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$200,000 pay hike for CEOs while the rest struggle

Media Release: National Distribution Union (NDU)
Saturday April 30, 2011

$200,000 pay hike for CEOs while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet

Workers will look poorly at the $200,000 a year salary increases dished out to New Zealand CEOs, at a time when cost of living for the rest of the country is rocketing up, the National Distribution Union said today.

Today’s New Zealand Herald CEO salary survey found average salaries among those CEOs surveyed had shot up from $1.4 million to $1.6 million in just a year, an increase of 14%.

“While members of our union are facing steep cost increases from GST, petrol and food, the very wealthy are benefiting heavily from tax cuts worth several hundred dollars a week, and big jumps in their salary packages,” NDU General Secretary Robert Reid said.

Robert Reid said there was a complete lack of initiative to address the gap between rich and poor from the National government, whose approach to employment rights and welfare were making things worse.

“Clearly we don’t have a plan from government on income inequality. We have a Finance Minister that talks up New Zealand’s wage gap with Australia, a miserly 25 cent minimum wage increase, and a Budget next month that will cut the essential public services New Zealanders need," he said.

“And this lack of initiative to address income inequality is reflected in large parts of corporate New Zealand also, where workers’ pay is a tiny fraction of CEOs.

“CEOs have no moral authority to urge wage constraint on workers when they are on such high rates of pay and receiving big increases year after year.

Robert Reid said in NDU sectors some of the strongest wage growth had come from unionised workplaces, with negotiations delivering increases of between 3% to 4% or more at major retail chains and transport and logistics companies.

“But workers without access to unions are seeing their wages go backwards fast, as they struggle to keep up with inflation.”

“The very wealthy are doing well out of this government, and they are pocketing big salary increases. It is unconscionable to see such greed at a time when so many workers are struggling to make ends meet,” Robert Reid said.


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