The National government couldn’t hold off democracy forever, so today we are graced with the first members’ day of the new term.
And if we had a pro-worker majority in the House, today would be day of celebration. Labour MP Darien Fenton’s Minimum Wage and Remuneration Bill is up, which would go towards ensuring all Kiwis are at least entitled to a basic minimum wage.
In a nutshell, the bill would make sure vulnerable workers can’t be exploited by employers and paid below minimum wage by classing them as ‘contractors’. And, according to Fenton’s press release, it would also pave the way towards a $15 minimum wage.
Unfortunately the bill looks set to be defeated at the committee stage by a National government that doesn’t care if mums and dads lose their jobs in the recession and are forced to contract themselves out at $4 an hour to make a living.
But then, National’s concern for workers was never more than rhetoric anyway.