Auckland housing costs lead to "strike wave" – union
Approximately 20 distribution centre workers at car parts supplier Brake and Transmission (BNT) have walked off the job today sighting low wages and sky rocketing housing costs as the cause.
This follows recent strikes at advertorial company Brand Developers TV Shop, Hamilton transport provider Pavlovich Buses, organic food company Ceres Organics and industrial equipment supplier Blackwoods Protector.
FIRST Union organiser Emir Hodzic represents the BNT workers and said working people in Auckland are struggling to keep up with escalating housing costs.
“In the last five years rent prices in Auckland have shot up by 21 percent. The average annual rent cost in Auckland is now nearly $27,000. That means most wage earners will be spending more than half of their income on rent alone. People are struggling,” said Hodzic.
The BNT workers have been negotiating for an improved wage increase since August but the company is offering nothing despite its workers sitting on minimum wages.
“A large, profitable company like BNT should be paying a living wage,” Mr Hodzic.
“The company is telling us they acknowledge that their workers are on low wages, yet they’re still refusing to even review wages until the middle of next year.”
“With housing costs sky-rocketing workers have no choice but to look to their employer’s to provide a wage they can afford to live on.”