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Focus on women welcomed

Monday September 19, 2011

Focus on women welcomed

Low income working women have had a rough deal from the current government, and Labour’s policy announcements marking Suffrage Day are a welcome move, NDU Retail Secretary Maxine Gay said today.

“Working people have been hit by an increase in GST while there were big tax cuts for the wealthy. This unfairness has been especially felt by women who are over represented in low paid, undervalued jobs.”

“The NDU has long supported the call for wage justice for working women. All low paid workers need pay equity legislation in order to have their jobs properly valued, and Labour’s moves to better tackle pay and employment equity are welcome.”

Maxine Gay said that men who perform so called women’s work, particularly in the service sector are exploited as well and a commitment to a $15 an hour minimum wage would help low paid women and men alike.

“Wider social support mechanisms removed under the current government, such as adult and community education funding and the Training Incentive Allowance, represented a cut to New Zealanders’ social wage, and Labour is right to say these cuts should be reversed.”

The union was also pleased to see a focus on eliminating violence against women in Labour’s policy, and said the NDU’s worker executive had recently committed to increasing the visibility of the international White Ribbon Campaign to oppose violence against women within the union’s membership.

Maxine Gay said New Zealand’s paid parental leave scheme, an initiative of The Alliance in the 1999-2002 Labour-led government was always a good first step, but remains well behind comparable countries. She looked forward to seeing further commitments to paid parental leave in Labour’s future announcements.

ENDS

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