We’ve written a bit about Labour Day over the years – see the archives for the origins, history, and importance of the day. Enjoying your weekend? Thank a unionist!
Labour Day is extra sweet this year. Check out Labour’s workplace relations policy page:
Backing fair pay and conditions
After nine years of National, working people’s share of the economy is falling. Less than 40 per cent of economic growth under National has gone into working people’s wages. If working people’s slice of the economy hadn’t shrunk under National, workers’ pay packets would have been $23 billion larger.
When 40 per cent of children in poverty live in a working household and two-thirds of workers’ pay fell in real terms last year, despite the economy growing, working people are not sharing in economic prosperity.
The problem is set to continue. The Budget forecasts no real growth in the average wage in 2017 or in two of the next four years.
Weak employment law has created avenues for some businesses to undercut good employers by driving down wages and minimising costs.
Labour’s workplace relations package includes:
- Increasing the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour.
- Replacing the current National Government’s ‘fire at will’ law with fair trial periods that provide both protection against unjustified dismissal and a simple, fair, and fast referee service.
- Introducing Fair Pay Agreements that set fair, basic employment conditions across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.
- Promoting the Living Wage by paying it to all workers in the core public service, and extending it to contractors over time.
- Doubling the number of Labour Inspectors.
- Implement the changes to the Equal Pay Act as set out in the report from the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles to give all women in female-dominated workforces access to collective bargaining and court processes to settle their claims.
See the manifesto chapter for a full list of initiatives.