The Service and Food Workers Union is launching a campaign for a living wage at 12 o’clock today.
The launch is at St Stephen’s Church in Ponsonby, and will be a colourful, musical event with speakers from clergy, budgeting services as well as unions. They’ll be inviting organisations to sign up to the concept – as most councils in the UK have, and many in the US as well.
The concept of the living wage is making sure that wages cover people’s costs. Our current minimum wage doesn’t – as is made clear in the Herald article and will be shown for 3 nights on Campbell Live this week.
It’s not an unreasonable ask – any decent employer should want to do this. So the SFWU will establish a coalition of organisations (churches, budgeting services, pressure groups and other unions) to pressure Government and councils to live up to their good employer obligations, and businesses to get credit with their customers. People like to know that what they buy was made without increasing poverty.
After inflation, average wages have fallen under John Key’s government. The minimum wage hasn’t been increased enough to raise people out of poverty. So we evidently need some external pressure to help.
This campaign should be a good start.
[Update: Campaign site]