Sunday, November 29, 2009
Brash can't tell Up from Down
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. "