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Government Should “be Kind” To MIQ Workers

Unite Union, which represents hospitality workers including hotel workers in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, calls on the Government to pay all essential workers a living wage.

“The Government has recently introduced $1000 fines for border workers who refuse a Covid-19 test, but some of these workers are only employed on, or just above, the minimum wage at hotels under government contracts” says John Crocker, Industrial Officer at Unite.

“This “stick, rather than carrot” approach goes completely against the Government’s “be kind” ethos it has been advocating for months.”

“We have also seen the Prime Minister announce that the security services at MIQ facilities would be brought in-house under MBIE [Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment] and that these workers would be paid a living wage. This principle should be extended.” said Crocker

“During the level 4 lockdown we saw which workers were really essential to our society, and a lot of them are paid below the living wage. The Government has an opportunity to do the right thing here and pay the workers on the front line against Covid-19 the living wage that they deserve.”

Unite Union also calls for guaranteed paid sick leave for front line workers. “No one should have to choose between going hungry and jeopardising our national public health response” says Crocker.

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