AUTHORISED BY JOHN RYALL, SERVICE AND FOOD WORKERS UNION, 35-39 GEORGE STREET, KINGSLAND, AUCKLAND
(from overseas please dial +64 9 375 2680)Government not listening to growing concern on poverty
Posted On: Wednesday, 19 September 2012
"The Government is not listening to the growing community concern about poverty and inequality in New Zealand. If they were they would have taken the opportunity today to lift the wages of our lowest paid workers," said Service and Food Workers Union National Secretary John Ryall today.
Labour MP David Clark's private member's bill to lift the minimum wage from $13.50 to $15 an hour was voted down by the National, Act and United Future parties.
"It is pointless for the Government to pretend to be concerned about poverty in New Zealand if nothing is done to lift incomes by lifting very low pay," said John Ryall.
John Ryall said that, of the over 200,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand, two out every five lived in households where at least one parent was working.
"Thousands of members of our union are on wages close to the current minimum wage of $13.50, despite the fact that they have some of the toughest jobs, such as caregiving in aged care, cleaning through the night and providing security services, " said John Ryall.
"Our members tell us their household incomes are simply not enough to live on. $15 an hour is not a living wage, but it would certainly make a difference to the thousands of workers and their families who are daily struggling to pay the bills."
The Service and Food Workers Union, along with 100 community organisations, churches and other unions, has launched a campaign for a living wage in New Zealand.
"A living wage is enough income, not only to survive but to participate in society," said John Ryall.
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