Unite Union Campaign for a $15 Minimum Wage

Thursday 27 August 2009, 6pm
Tom Fordes Irish Bar and Political Museum
122 Anzac Ave, Auckland

Are you an Auckland student, campus worker or academic who wants to learn about or get involved in the $15 hr Campaign for a Living Wage? If so then come along to this public meeting to learn more about the campaign and why the Unite Union is making a stand against poverty wages in Aotearoa.

Hear about the campaign and the new progressive union movement from union leaders Mike Treen and John Minto.

450,000 people are paid less than $15 an hour. 100,000 workers are on the minimum wage of $12.50. That’s not enough to live on. We’re standing up against poverty wages and we’re going to need you.

It’s time to put workers first


  1. I’m sorry but I really disagree with this, my family runs a small restaurant and its difficult to work through this financial times, to hire a waiter as it is with 12.50 is fine and by raising the minimum wage to $15 would mean that prices would raise. I understand the demand for the workers to come first but for small businesses, $15/hr would be hard.

  2. Yohan, this is an argument we hear a lot, I usually compare it to the argument used by slaveowners in the United States, who argued that they would not be able to stay in business if they had to pay wages rather that just buy slaves- does that argument make slavery in ok?

    Or how about this situation, if an employer can not afford to stay in business if they adhere to all health and safety requirements, does that mean its ok for that business to have an unsafe workplace?

    What about if a business can’t afford to pay the wage required by the International Labour Organisation (part of the UN) convention on the minimum wage? does that give that business a right to pay sub standard wages?
    Unite and its members say no, and thats what this campaign is about, getting the New Zealand minimum wage up to the standard of the ILO convention. Its a very moderate demand.

    Also bare in mind that you’re already paying your waiter less than they would have got 25 years ago (source), so small (and big) business has had quarter of a century of declining wages, a bit of a catch up is fair don’t you think?

  3. Hi Yohan!

    Remember that the workers who get a pay rise will probably spend that money, rather than saving or investing it. This means your restaurant could well get more income.

    In the early 1990s in New Zealand when wages come under attack from the Employment Contracts Act and also unemployment benefits were cut many small businesses went out of business because working people and beneficiaries simply stopped spending.

    In the long run a increase in the minimum wage could actually be good for your business.

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