Unite, the union that organises thousands of low paid workers in workplaces such as cinemas, fastfoods and call centres, thinks that Don Brash needs a lesson on which way is up and which way is down.
Brash has proposed to reduce New Zealand's income gap with Australia by cutting the minimum wage to $10 an hour, re introducing youth rates for workers under 18, and slashing public services and conditions that benefit the working poor.
The union's Campaign for a Living Wage spokesperson, Joe Carolan, says-
"In order to reach Australia's income levels, we should increase our minimum wage to $15ph this year, and to two third's of the average wage afterwards. The poorest Australian workers benifit from a minimum wage of NZ$17.50 an hour, just over $200 more a week than their Kiwi counterparts.
We've been out gathering thousands of names in support of this demand every week on the streets and in the workplaces throughout New Zealand. 4 out of 5 people agree with us- Workers are sick of a low pay economy, and Brash's Taskforce 2025 shock therapy is the opposite of what Kiwi battlers want.
Economics 101- $15 per hour is a lot closer to $17.50 than $10 an hour. If there are cuts to be made to close our income gap with Australia, it should be in the inordinate amount of funding given by government to neoliberal has-been illiterates who can't tell up from down. "