Workers make their voices heard

Workplace Relations and Safety

Essential workers sent a clear message today that they no longer want to see their pay and conditions set through a race to the bottom, and that they support fair, good faith bargaining with employers through Fair Pay Agreements.

On International Workers’ Day, Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood received over a thousand submissions supporting the introduction of Fair Pay Agreements.

“At the heart of the Government’s economic recovery plan is people. When we invest in New Zealanders, we know they have greater opportunities to prosper, provide for their families, and contribute to our nation’s success,” Michael Wood said.

“That’s why we are following through on our commitment to introduce Fair Pay Agreements, which level the playing field by enabling employers and unions to negotiate a basic floor under the pay and conditions of workers in a sector. This will be critical in stopping the ‘race to the bottom’ we have seen in many sectors, which can see good employers undercut.

“The Government is also supporting kiwis through our cost of living package, including raising minimum wages and implementing a range of changes to reduce costs on people who need it most. This includes the recent 25 cents a litre reduction in fuel excise, the introduction of half price public transport for three months, and increases to the Family Tax Credit.

“COVID reminded us that some of our most essential workers like cleaners, drivers, and retail workers, are some of the most under-valued in the labour market. As we rebuild from COVID, it is the right time to tackle some of these long-term inequalities in our country,” said Michael Wood.