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We would love to see wages drop

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, April 27th, 2013 - 4 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, employment, john key, national, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

In February 2008 Key ignited one of his first media storms with his comment at a business meeting that “we would love to see wages drop”. Subsequent events had all the hallmarks of what we now recognise (from too many examples) as classic Key crisis management strategy. There was the claim of memory lapse. There was the flimsy cover story. There was the aggressive attack on the media (leading to an unprecedented protest by Herald journalists).

Despite Key’s denials the erosion of wages began, of course, from ridiculous stuff like taxing kids with paper rounds, to the subtly undermining effects of youth rates. The anti-worker employment Bill announced yesterday is the centerpiece of the strategy, massively weakening collective bargaining, a sure-fire way of bringing down wages.

The goal is even acknowledged up front (ht Hellen Kelly on Twitter) in this Cabinet briefing paper:

15 Repealing the 30-day rule will provide employers with more flexibility on what they are able to offer new employees as their starting terms and conditions of employment. It will enable employers to offer individual terms and conditions that are less than those in the collective agreement.

Our low wages are marketed by National as a “competitive advantage”. Thanks to their anti-worker policy we’re going to be even more competitive – in the race to the bottom.

4 comments on “We would love to see wages drop”

  1. irascible 1

    KeY is looking to having NZ compete with Bangladesh for wages, working conditions and job security. This legislation is butthe start of the process.

    • Tim 1.1

      We now know what Planet Key is. Others call it the Third World.

      I’ve often thought that we shoud just cut the bullshit – i.e:

      IF we want to regard ourselves as First World, and IF any sort of business can only sustain itself by resorting to slave labour tactics (according to its operators), THEN it simply isn’t a viable business.

      Nothing too complicated about that really.

    • Akldnut 1.2

      Next step – sweatshops and building collapses here we come.

  2. tc 2

    This line alone should be stacked up alongside all the sneaky tax/fee rises they’ve done since 08, a housing bubble in akl they willingly encourage by not rolling out a CGT amongst other issues etc etc.

    The numers are irrefutable, key’s quote can now be matched with his gov’ts actions (especially on minimum wages) now if only we had an opposition who could do such basic stuff.

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