web analytics

Hickey on the living wage

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, October 12th, 2014 - 22 comments
Categories: business, wages - Tags: , , ,

Excellent piece by Bernard Hickey in The Herald this morning.

Living wage is good for everyone

Money in workers’ pockets gives them cash to spend and boosts the economy.

The piece begins with Hickey’s account of a positive experience at The Warehouse, then…

The Warehouse is one of a growing number of companies paying a “Living Wage”. From August 1, it started paying 4100 of its workers a “Career Retailer Wage” of at least $18.50 an hour. To qualify, they must have full training and 5000 hours’ experience. It represents a pay increase of 10-20 per cent.

Warehouse CEO Mark Powell estimated it would cost almost $6 million in extra wages, but it was an investment worth making. “The front-line in retail starts on the shop floor with enthusiastic team members and the competitive reality is that if customers aren’t served well, a business will ultimately fail,” Powell said. …

The Living Wage movement is one response to the growing realisation that slowing economic growth is partly because of a falling share of income going to wages, which depresses demand and investment.

Circuit breakers are needed to boost productivity and wages, and this is one of them. The Warehouse is hoping it will be a circuit breaker for their sales, profits and share price. For now, the Red Sheds have become the place where everyone gets enough of a Living Wage to buy those bargains.

Go read the whole piece. Makes sense doesn’t it.

22 comments on “Hickey on the living wage ”

  1. Paul 1

    Maybe we could produce a list of companies that pay the Living Wage.
    And the large companies that pay minimum wage.

    • RedBaronCV 1.2

      Okay maybe they should have done more of this earlier or better etc etc. But at least they have done something so good on them. We need more businesses to step up to theses sorts of responsibilities along with training people to fill skill shortages and most importantly for them not to go whining to the government that there are skill shortages so they can import more labour to underpay.
      Some industries, trucking appears to be one, need to get off their collective butts and train the people they need not whinge for being put on the skills shoratges list. They also need to revise the image of whom they wish to train, more part time jobs for women , older people would go a long way to filling some industry gaps. This could be helped by creating modern unions who assisted with workforce planning.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    To qualify, they must have full training and 5000 hours’ experience.

    That’s like two and a half years of *not* being paid a living wage first. Sure, good to see them paying a living wage but even the people new at the job need to be able to live.

    One employer described the thinking: “You’d only need them to be another 30 per cent productive to be cost neutral, and 30 per cent is not a big jump, in terms of people wasting 30 per cent of their time on Facebook and texting.”

    Still full of economic baloney.

    • BevanJS 2.1

      Amazing that the Warehouse gets an advertorial for realising they could probably pay experienced staff that they’ve trained a bit more money. Advanced thinking that!

  3. Saarbo 3

    Related to this was the article on RNZ this morning investigation farm workers/foreign workers on dairy farms. In a nutshell the article said that work conditions are so bad on many dairy farms that it is only possible to get foreign workers who are used to even worse conditions in their home country. It also noted that Helen Kelly has been waging a Twitter campaign highlighting poorly paid jobs on Fonterra’s Fencepost website, Ive seen these tweets and looking at the reaction from farmers, it is quite effective. Personally I believe that if more people were aware of the conditions that many people are experiencing on dairy farms in New Zealand they would be appalled…these conditions are setting a new low standard for work conditions in NZ. Labour needs to be working harder in this area…I did question Andrew Little prior to the election on what Labour planned to do in this area and I didn’t get a very satisfactory reply, in fact, I couldn’t even understand what he had just told me. In my view Labour need to be looking at bringing in policy to implement this: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/10586157/Wages-and-overtime-urged-for-farm-staff

    • Marksman33 3.1

      Yes Saarbo, I made a point of listening to this interview this morning, even the Sri Lankan herd manager could see that the last thing we need is foreigners owning the majority of our farms. Of course they had predominately come from working on farms in the Middle East, as opposed to the serf conditions there, for immigrant workers ,NZ seems very good.

  4. venezia 4

    Saarbo… can you please give some details of the RadioNZ piece (Farm/foreign workers on dairy farms) you refer to in your first sentence? (the time it was played or better still a link?) I have checked the RadioNZ website, but doesn’t seem to be there.

    • Once Was Tim 4.1

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight (for 12 Sept)

      Good programme, and a follow up to one Phillipa Tolley did a while back.

      Btw….a bloody good argument for any new progressive government to dismantle the absolute bugger’s muddle of a Ministry called MoBIE – with all its conflicting interests (Needless to say the brainchild of Joyce)

  5. It is with sincere and heartfelt sadness that I have just heard of the death of Labour stalwart Paul Jellicich at Auckland.Devoted husband of the lively Dorothy .W

  6. James Thrace 6

    Farmers like getting overseas workers on contracts for $5 an hour. Generally they don’t like hiring kiwis especially for milking jobs.
    The lowered fonterra payout will also mean fewer jobs for kiwis. More working holiday visas being issued to young Argentinians and Chileans who love it here.
    I have two family members who have recently been laid off from their jobs on dairy farms. They refused to get paid less than $20 per hour after 6 years with the farm. The Argentinians? Getting paid $7.70 per hour on contract. They don’t get accommodation or food supplied either.

    • GregJ 6.1

      James – that is shocking.

      I assume they weren’t Union members?

      Helen Kelly has been hammering this for quite some time. You should encourage your family members to contact the CTU and share their stories.

      The increased corporatisation of farming in NZ is probably going to make this an ongoing issue.

    • vto 6.2

      How does that happen?

      I thought we had minimum wage legislation in this country. And merely calling it a contract rather than employment doesn’t cut the mustard.

      Slave drivers

      River destroyers

      What next?

      • GregJ 6.2.1

        It is possible that they are salaried – and that the hours worked actually exceeds that contracted – which could be quite common on a farm depending on circumstances (farming not being a completely 9-5 type job)

        Theoretically salary earners still need to earn the equivalent of at least the minimum wage for the total hours they work but it wouldn’t surprise me to see that regularly abused. Actually I’m sure I saw something recently in the press where farm labourers were making precisely that point.

        Still it seems very dodgy to me (effectively they are being paid 1/2 the minimum adult wage).

  7. Tracey 7

    just in case you were in any doubt about who is NOT going to stand idly by while anyone tries to cool the auckland property market… read tony alexander chief bnz economist rant in the central auckland property press…

    http://www.ebookz.co.nz/Mag/Central1610/pubData/mobile/index.htm#/35/

    dont know if the link will work… but this kind of thinking will also want a halt to this living wage hysteria

  8. Gosman 8

    Wow! A private company paying staff extra without the need for government to force them to do so via a law change or Unions striking for same.

    • vto 8.1

      Your view gosman is always from such an oddball angle. It seems you have missed that it is not only the low paid who recognise that the minimum wage is not able to be lived on, but also now the richer and the capitalists in our midst.

      I posted this a couple of days ago on exactly this phenomenon http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-13102014/#comment-909213

      That you see this occurrence as some sort of tick for free enterprise rather than the recognition of the injustice of this governments attitudes and policies by its very own supporters no less, says more about your curious, linear and lonely view of the world.

      wake up man

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        Ahhh… no. I see this as a good example of how changes should occur as opposed to a blunt one size fits all approach that is forced on reluctant employers. If something is beneficial to both sides as you obviously think this is then you shouldn’t have too much problem convincing employers to take this up.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          I agree, Gos, all employers should choose to pay their workers a living wage.

          But some employers are selfish fucks, so need to be forced to pay a living wage. Whether this is by legislation or employee action, I don’t give a fuck.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.2

          Nonsense Gosman: Lab5 put the question to bed once and for all, as if the evidence from everywhere else on the planet weren’t already quite clear.

          If reluctant employers were convinced by evidence there’d be no National Party.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Rangitihi
    I pānuitia i te rangi nei e te Minita mō ngā Whiriwhiringa Tiriti o Waitangi, e Andrew Little, kua tāmokohia tētahi Whakaaetanga Whakataunga i waenga i te Karauna me Ngāti Rangitihi, e whakatau ana i ngā kerēme hītori Tiriti o Waitangi a taua iwi. Ko Ngāti Rangitihi tētahi o ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • World Soil Day: valuing our soils key to a better world
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has marked World Soil Day (5 December) with a $6.25 million investment in mapping New Zealand’s most valuable soils which are vital to our economic, environmental and social wellbeing. “The more we know about our natural resources, including soils, the better we can make good sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government receives interim report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Government has received an interim report from the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions. The terms of reference for the Royal Commission required a progress report on the inquiry‘s work to date to be delivered to the Government by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs announces diplomatic appointments to Malaysia and Austria
    Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has announced Pam Dunn as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brian Hewson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Austria and UN Permanent Representative, Vienna. Malaysia “New Zealand and Malaysia enjoy a warm bilateral relationship. We have had diplomatic relations for more than 60 years, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Intention to appoint a Commission for Tauranga City Council
    Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, has confirmed the Tauranga City Council has been advised of her intention to appoint a Commission in response to significant governance problems among the Council’s elected representatives and the findings of an independent review. “I have been closely watching the conduct of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Health Scholarships 2021 about improving access to healthcare for Pacific communities
    Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio is calling on any Pacific students studying health or disability-related courses to apply now for a Ministry of Health Pacific Health Scholarship. “These scholarships acknowledge the vital role Pacific people play in our health workforce. This was most visible through our Pacific workforce's ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School
    CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY   Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. I want to recognise the hard work of the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute in putting on this event. Bringing together internationally recognised leaders and thinkers on trade and economic policy, with exporters, business leaders, diplomats, economists, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NCEA Level 1 changes give students a broader foundation
    The Government is making changes to NCEA Level 1 to ensure it remains a strong, credible qualification that supports young people into employment and further education, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Last term, the Government initiated a wide-scale review of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA), involving consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect positive economic trend
    The Government’s books were again better than expected as the economy continued to recover post COVID lockdown, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the four months to the end of October were far more favourable than what was forecast in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Increase to supplier diversity through new procurement target for Maori Business
    Māori enterprises are in line for greater opportunities to do business with government agencies under an initiative to spread the benefits of the economic recovery.  The Ministers for Māori Development and Economic and Regional Development have announced a new target to encourage public service agencies to cast the net ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate emergency declaration will be matched with long-term action
    Today’s climate emergency declaration will be backed with ambitious plans to reduce emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw today. “Our Government has put New Zealand at the forefront of climate action over the last three years. Declaring a climate emergency and backing this with long-term action to reduce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating the success of Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award winners
    28 young achievers who have been in the care of Oranga Tamariki or involved with the youth justice system have received Oranga Tamariki Prime Minister Awards in recognition of their success and potential, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. At the awards ceremony in Parliament, Kelvin Davis congratulated the rangatahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025
    Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025 Immediate focus on phasing out largest and most active coal boilers Government agencies required to purchase electric vehicles and reduce the size of their car fleet Green standard required for public sector buildings The Government has launched a major new initiative to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fulfils election undertaking on new top tax rate
    The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. “This will only affect the top two per cent of earners. It is a balanced measure that is about sharing the load so everyone ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sir Robert Martin re-elected to UN Committee
    New Zealand welcomes the news that Sir Robert Martin has been re-elected to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni. “Sir Robert has been a lifetime advocate for persons with disabilities and his experience brings a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New rules to protect Kiwis from unaffordable loans
    The Government is making sure all consumers who borrow money get the same protections, regardless of where they get their loans.   “Building on the work to crack down on loan sharks last year, we’re now making the rules clearer for all lenders to help protect borrowers from unaffordable loans” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New visitor attraction to boost tourism
    The opening of the first major new tourism attraction since the global outbreak of COVID-19 closed borders to international travellers will provide a welcome boost to visitor numbers in our largest city, says Tourism Minister Stuart Nash. Mr Nash has this afternoon taken part in the official opening ceremony of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt moves on drug checking to keep young New Zealanders safer this summer
    The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Next year the Government will develop and consult on regulations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Public Service Commissioner reappointed
    Minister for the Public Service Chris Hipkins announced today that Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes CNZM has been reappointed for three years. The Public Service Commissioner is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. “Mr Hughes’ reappointment reflects the need for strong leadership and continuity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pōwhiri marks the start of a critical year for APEC
    New Zealand kicked off its APEC host year today, with a pōwhiri taking place on Wellington’s waterfront with local iwi Te Atiawa, and a number of Government ministers welcoming representatives from the other 20 APEC economies. “APEC is a hugely important international event, and New Zealand is hosting amidst the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at APEC 21 Opening Pōwhiri
    9am, Tuesday 1 DecemberTe Whare Waka o Pōneke, Wellington Central He Mihi Kei aku rangatira no ngātapito e whā o te ao huri noa, tātou e huihui mai nei. Tēnā rā kōutou katoa. He tangiapakura ki ngā tini aituā kei waenganui i a tātou, ka tangi tonu te ngākau ki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government extends business debt relief to October 2021
    To assist with the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19, rules allowing affected businesses to put their debt on hold have been extended by 10 months. “New Zealand’s economy is recovering better than we expected, but the impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching and some businesses need continued support to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill introduced to support workers with 10 days sick leave
    The Government is delivering on a key commitment by introducing a Bill to Parliament to expand sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “COVID-19 has shown how important it is to stay at home when people are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Progress on pay equity for DHB staff
    Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. If ratified, the agreement between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iconic Milford Track officially reopens
    One of New Zealand’s premier hikes and a cornerstone of the Te Anau community, the Milford Track has officially reopened, “From today, hikers booked on the popular Great Walk will be able to complete the walk end-to-end for the first time since early February,” Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support for farmers beefed up ahead of La Niña
    Further funding for feed support services and new animal welfare coordinators will help farmers who continue to feel the effects of an extended drought, says Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor. “In March this year, I classified the drought in the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chathams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement
    The Defence Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and commended the achievements over the past 49 years as the FPDA moves towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021.  The Ministers recognised the FPDA’s significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding protects health of Hawke’s Bay waterways
    A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago