Union wants 40% wage increase

Perhaps unable to negotiate higher wages with employers the FIRST union wants the government to do their work for them by increasing the minimum wage 40% to $20.65 by 2018.

One News reports Union wants a 40 per cent minimum wage boost.

The FIRST union, which advocates for 27,000 finance, industrial, retail, stores and transport workers wants the current rate of $14.75 increased to $20.65 in 2018.

It wants the government to hike the rate in three steps, starting with a $1.75 rise to $16.50 this year.

“A 25 cent or 50 cent increase won’t cut the mustard for working people and their families,” said the union’s general secretary Robert Reid.

He says the increase in the wage would help boost and cut inequality.

Reid wants these stepped changes to the minimum wage:

  • Current – $14.75
  • This year – $16.50
  • 2017 – $18.46
  • 2018 – $20.65

Perhaps this is in response to and despair at Labour announcing they want to pile money into free tertiary education, which is targeted at a different demographic to many of the First union members.

Union members are not seen as being in the magic middle New Zealand vote bucket.

FIRST Union (Wikipedia):

FIRST Union is a national trade union in New Zealand that was formed on 1 October 2011 by the merger of the National Distribution Union and Finsec.

FIRST has a membership of more than 26,000 and is affiliated with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. It is also affiliated to various international federations through its five sectors; Finance, Industrial (Textile, Clothing, Baking, Wood, Energy), Retail, Stores (distribution and logistics) and Transport.

FIRST is not affiliated with the New Zealand Labour Party, but former NDU secretary Laila Harré did serve as leader of the Internet Party in 2014.

 

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31 Comments

  1. Timoti

     /  2nd February 2016

    Given the huge increase in tourism this may be on the cards. Just in time too, as our diary industry sinks. We even have a net gain of plus 800 people returning from Aussie, as opposed to those leaving. That hasn’t happened in decades. Perhaps that moniker of a ” rock star economy” might be true, relative to other countries.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  2nd February 2016

      and perhaps not.Headlines like this are mischievious and misleading, on purpose of course ..’.Union wants 40% wage increase’….add’ to the minimum wage phased in over 4/5 years’ and its not so ‘shocking’…is it?

      Reply
    • Timoti

       /  2nd February 2016

      Edit- Dairy

      Reply
      • Timoti

         /  2nd February 2016

        Maybe our Unions aren’t too bright:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3422775/Swiss-government-proposes-paying-1-700-month-work-not-bid-end-poverty-insists-people-want-job.html

        I think that would covert to roughly $ NZ1000 a week. I’m sure I will be correted if I’m wrong.

        Reply
        • Timoti

           /  2nd February 2016

          Edit-convert and corrected…somebody get me disqus.

          Reply
          • Rob

             /  2nd February 2016

            Agree with you there. We need an edit button at least.

            Reply
            • kittycatkin

               /  2nd February 2016

              We can’t have it-Pete explained why. It would be expensive and he’d have to pay for it, for one thing.

            • kittycatkin

               /  2nd February 2016

              40% is 40% whether it’s over one year or four. It would probably mean that when workers left, they wouldn’t be replaced. Nobody will want to pay that much more for goods and services, and businesses need to make a profit, This is dreaming. They seem to think that businesses can stand a 10% annual wage increase-they can’t. That means that they will be paying the equivalent of one worker’s wages for every ten workers. What will happen ? One worker in ten will be laid off or not replaced, or everything will go up in price.

            • Blazer

               /  2nd February 2016

              absolute rubbish dear..in the 80’s the average NZ CEO made around 20x the lowest workers wage…today its around 340 x…absolute chicanery.

  2. Brown

     /  2nd February 2016

    Having had a long break from work but now casually looking around for something I confess that I’m surprised at some adds that require fantastic workers who can cope with pressure, must be accurate, dependable etc… as they are important in making sure that things get done on time or the business will collapse type stuff. And for being all these they will pay you $14.65 per hour. In the insurance field that I inhabited I’d get not much more than I was on twenty years ago for goodness sake. While no supporter of legislated minimum wages I do think some employers are dreaming if they think motivated and qualified people are going to sell their souls for minimum wage. The saying, ”you get what you pay for” comes to mind.

    I think we are increasingly a low wage economy. That could work if we were also a low tax economy as well but we are not.

    Reply
    • jamie

       /  2nd February 2016

      If you’re on $14.75 an hour then income tax is already low.

      All the other taxes, fees, and levies keep going up every year though.

      Reply
  3. Oliver

     /  2nd February 2016

    Now that we will be receiving a massive boost to the economy from the TPPA, it’s more then reasonable for unions to ask for higher wages for workers. However the target should be $21.50 which would put the worker on a living wage.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  2nd February 2016

      Is that the same TPPA you say we shouldn’t sign………….

      Reply
      • Oliver

         /  2nd February 2016

        It’s TPPA that you say will make everyone rich…

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  2nd February 2016

          Well if you take into account the TPPA will improve the govt coffers than yes we will have more money to spend on running the country hence we all benefit……..

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  2nd February 2016

            I don’t see many people starving to death on what is not a ‘living wage’. The term is an emotive one.

            Reply
            • @ KCK – We’ll know what isn’t a ‘living wage’ when people are starving to death, right?

              That’s an emotive idea. Of course, we don’t know and cannot agree on how many people are living in poverty or relative squalor, deprivation, hopelessness and generational state-dependence, with child neglect and abuse, mental health, addiction and possibly suicidal consequences.

              Their having a cellphone or smartphone disqualifies them from ongoing consideration, doesn’t it?

              What we need now is a starvation ‘body count’.

  4. Pantsdownbrown

     /  2nd February 2016

    One way to speed up the full implementation of automatic ordering machines in your local McDonalds………

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  2nd February 2016

      There seems to be more people working at Mc Donalds now that they have the automated machines.

      Reply
    • Rob

       /  2nd February 2016

      Saw an article about how little difference a payrise like that would make to them. They could simply raise the price of a burger by a few cents to cover it.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  2nd February 2016

        But most people are tight arsed pricks and don’t want to actually pay for anything so price, not value, is critical. The father in law lost his job when a furniture business closed because they couldn’t compete with the Warehouse on price (quality and value was a no contest though). He became a Warehouse shopper because it was cheap and simply couldn’t connect the dots that led to his own demise. The waif we have taken in wants to buy her daughter a bike and the warehouse was to obvious choice. I reminded her that you can get a decent bike for not much more at a bike shop but she needs lay buy and so on. She’s broke because she’s stupid, not the other way around. There is much education to embark on. The problem is that people have lost sight of the fact that nothing is free and their buying decisions make a difference; cost and value are not the same thing. You try and tell people that and their eyes glaze over.

        Reply
        • @ Brown – I’m sorry to say this but that’s a sad description of what ‘Rogernomics’, ‘Ruthanasia’ et al has done to New Zealand. A personal indictment. Even if we didn’t actively choose it we at least passively let it happen. I was living in central Auckland and clearly remember the family shops and chain-stores crumbling and disappearing as Warehouses appeared everywhere (to be replaced by cafes … by speed drug [and food] outlets … interesting eh?).

          It coincided with wages going down (relative to cost-of-living & inflation), employment contracts, unionisation going voluntary, rampant house and rent price increases, growing inequality and poverty and all the rest … the establishment of the low wage economy.

          My eyes glaze over too. I totally understand this reaction.
          It is my spirit’s way of saying, “I am utterly powerless here. I have no choice in this matter. There is only the ‘Warehouse’ now, old man, you and me have made it so”.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  2nd February 2016

            Department stores were around long before the Warehouse and K Mart…people have been saying this for a very long time, that the big shops kill the little ones. Which of us wants to buy all their groceries from the corner dairy rather than a supermarket ? How long ago did Woolworth’s begin ? I can’t ever remember when there weren’t supermarkets, Woolworth’s, McKenzie’s, the DIC, Farmers….I have no wish to go back to paying the price that groceries cost before supermarkets came in. I bet that nobody wants to pay the equivalent of what cars cost before production line assembly came in. In the past, shoe shops where people could buy shoes ready made put cobblers out of business. I don’t want to wait for my shoes to be made, I want to buy them when I need them. Machines put weavers out of business. Sewing machines put seamstresses out of business, and when washing machines became easy to use, they took away the livelihood of laundresses. This caused real hardship, as for many women, this was their sole source of income. Bakers used to make part of their income from charging people for the use of their ovens to cook meals in. I don’t want to have to go to a baker to cook a meal and fetch it when it’s done-but the availability of ovens for houses must have made a real difference to bakers’ incomes. One reads of terrible consequences to small corner shop owners when supermarkets came in.

            I would be very surprised if The Warehouse sold sub-standard bikes, The Commerce Commission or whoever is in charge of such things would soon find out and the consequences would be severe. There are minimum safety standards that apply to everyone selling such things.

            Reply
            • kittycatkin

               /  2nd February 2016

              The first Woolworth’s (variety, not supermarket) opened in the US in the 1870s. Smaller shops would have been unable to compete, and I would guess that it impoverished many small business owners.

              Wallpaper used to be something that only rich people could afford-who doesn’t have it now ? I don’t, because I like painted walls,as do other people I know. But that’s our choice.

            • Brown

               /  2nd February 2016

              Go buy one and find out the gulf between a branded bike like Giant etc… from a bike supplier and a Crappo from a Chinese junk supplier. They are world’s apart irrespective of legislation because one supplier is proud of their product and wants repeat business while the other fills landfills.

              I agree about not wanting to pay silly prices but at some point it just bottoms out and we are no better off for it because the drive for cheaper just gets counter productive in respect of value and choice. Most electronics are cheaper here than in Hong Kong. Retail margins are bloody thin on lots of stuff. I have found that for decent stuff that a man likes (not perfume) the price gap becomes of no consequence as soon as you need a part. Friends in retail laugh when a brand they sell comes in under warranty when it was bought over the web – no sale, no service. Good manufacturers support local suppliers by having a world wide warranty but only applicable when its returned to the retailer that sold it. That’s how it should be. One bloke was winging about a price of $2 over the web and $3 in the shop for goodness sake – trying to screw $1 off the retailer. I told him to stop being a tight fisted prick before the retailer had the chance. That is the mentality abounding. Retailers cannot survive on window shopping and the empty shops in many cities show that there is already an impact.

            • “You’re a good man Charlie Brown” – Schulz, ‘Peanuts’

              “it just bottoms out” Truer words were never spoken.

            • @ KCK – Correct! I know all that. I didn’t say it was bad, I said it was sad. As I also said, “There is only the ‘Warehouse’ now, old girl, you and I have made it so”.

              Our children will work there – I hope its a good work environment – and when, as in Kaitaia, Warehouse decides the land it is on has become too expensive or valuable, it will move out of town – just far enough so you have to drive there – where the other giant stores have relocated, leaving an empty building in the increasingly dead centre, like Pak’n’Save, McDonalds, Bunnings, Mitre10 et al have done.

              It’s the “serial monoculture” economy or “select-economy” I mentioned yesterday. It’s the retail expression of neo-feudal corporatism.

              We live with it, of course. We have no choice. Along with the low prices and cheap Jap Import cars we’ve got low wages and significant under-employment, moderate-to-high taxation, obscenely high property prices in an obscenely “market favoured” city – where most of the work is – regional depopulation and deprivation, moderate-to-high unemployment (depending on measurements), high borrowing (all over again!), a welfare system teetering worse than it was at the end of the Muldoon era, and all the rest of it ….

              Speaking of cycles, did you know that NZ’s much vaunted, innovative refrigerated exports in the 1880s contributed to an agricultural “Great Depression” in Britain which resulted in severe loss of income, much suffering, increased poverty and rural depopulation. (We were a small player of course but the principle remains; our gain was their loss)

              “Subsequently, Britain became the most industrialised major country with the smallest proportion of its resources devoted to agriculture” – Wikipedia.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression_of_British_Agriculture

              “By the late nineteenth century, British manufacturers eclipsed the aristocracy as the richest class in the nation”

              “Robert Blake claimed that Disraeli was dissuaded from reviving protection due to the urban working class enjoying cheap imported food at a time of industrial depression and rising unemployment. Enfranchised by Disraeli in 1867, working men’s votes were crucial in a general election and he did not want to antagonise them”.

              Britain’s agriculture didn’t fully recover until she was “cut off” at the beginning of World War 2. Should possible war and crisis, e.g. global pandemic, be a consideration in retaining some semblance of a diverse economy?

              Seems to me we’re capable of acting globally but incapable of thinking globally? I wonder why?

  5. Zedd

     /  2nd February 2016

    I’m guessing ‘Team Key’ would rather give more Tax-cuts to the top 10%.. then tell us all “it will trickle down.. to the rest” (NOT !)

    Why would we believe ‘Team Key’ has any plans to change course, after 7 LONG years & do the bottom 49.9% any REAL favours ! 😦
    ho hum.. what a JOKE

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  2nd February 2016

      You do have a Key fixation don’t you? Too much envy Kool-Aid for you……..

      Reply
  6. kiwi guy

     /  2nd February 2016

    $20 an hour minimum wage would be great but is unattainable – too stronger headwinds with automation, AI = oversupply of human labour especially at the low skill end ( but even high skill middle class careers are being further destroyed. )

    Add to that all the economic distortion of QE and ZIRP/NIRP from central banks and corrupt polticians in the hands of Wall Street types – destroying “Main Street” where everyone else has to try and earn a crust.

    Reply
    • @ KG – I believe the oversupply of human labour you refer to will eventually reach a critical mass of some sort, requiring action to stave off (hopefully) or in response to (God forbid) widespread civil disobedience or (worse still) insurrection or revolution.

      Some form of just taxation – which from graphs I’ve seen could be very high indeed for the super-mega-and-ultra rich – redistributed as citizens dividend or UBI, along with redefinition of “employment” for those who will never “earn their own living” in the old-fashioned sense but can do useful community, non-profit and social enterprise work while remaining viable, all-important “consumers”, generating the demand for “free-enterprisers” to supply with goods and services. J S Mill’s dual “social capitalist” system with Georgist elements?

      Probably qualifies as Cultural Marxism by your standards but there you go.

      Reply

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