Westpac becomes accredited living wage employer

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, February 1st, 2019 - 33 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, Living Wage, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Hell must be freezing over.  This post is to congratulate Westpac on becoming an accredited living wage employer.

What is especially interesting is that it was willing to submit to the certification process of a voluntary organisation comprising of representatives of the trade union movement, community groups and faith based groups.

From the Living Wage press release:

Westpac is joining well over 120 New Zealand employers who know the Living Wage is good for their workers, good for the economy and also good for business and Westpac is actively encouraging other big businesses to step up as well.

This is an historic milestone for our Movement and, hot on the heels of Vector and AMP, we expect many more of our wealthy corporates to follow Westpac’s example.

“Extensive international research and a growing body of New Zealand research shows workers who are paid the Living Wage have better morale, less absenteeism and greater productivity. There is also a business advantage in being labelled a Living Wage employer. But, above all, it is simply the right thing to do, Westpac NZ General Manager Consumer Banking, Simon Power, says.

Mr Power says the organisation is committed to helping improve New Zealanders’ financial position. “We want to lead by example. We already pay our staff a living wage and we now we want to extend that to contractors and suppliers. 

“We think it will benefit them, their families and New Zealand as a whole. Ultimately, that will benefit the economy and our business.

“Above all else, we think this is the right thing to do. These workers play an important role in our day-to-day operations and we value their efforts.”

In a previous live Simon Power was a senior National Party MP and minister.

This is all the more reason for other entities including Auckland Council, District Health Boards and licensing trusts to do the same.  If an Australian corporate bank realises the benefit of paying its workers and contractors a living wage then local democratic public entities should do the same.

Reprinted from gregpresland.com.

33 comments on “Westpac becomes accredited living wage employer”

  1. Blazer 1

    I don’t think Westpac need to worry about not retaining Govt banking business….now.😃

    • Richard McGrath 1.1

      I dare says that’s the motivation for a move away from productivity based compensation to the ridiculous so-called living wage.

  2. cathy 2

    great news, that’s a real coup.

    congratulations to Westpac.

  3. That’s fine, though I guess the way they have been ditching staff and branches the last 10 years, I wonder how much their total wage bill/overheads have increased? if at all.

    I love how banks and corporations can engage in brutal tactics for decades, then totally win the PR war with one small gesture..all Westpac need to do now is insist all deposits come in recyclable brown paper bags and they could be in for the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award, despite backing logging operations on the Solomon Islands that destroy virgin rainforests and backing coal mining on the Denniston Plateau on the West Coast of the South Island.

    “People were in shock, they’re upset and also to be honest quite angry,” Williams said.
    “It’s an absolute surprise to them that there was any problem at all with their branches.”
    Last year Westpac reported a record $916 million profit – up 6 per cent on the previous year.
    Branches proposed to close are: Kamo, Cherrywood in Tauranga, Broadway Avenue in Palmerston North, Bishopdale in Christchurch, Gardens in Dunedin, Waikanae, Carterton, Raglan, Ranfurly, Te Aroha, Fendalton Mall in Christchurch, Putaruru, Whangamata,Takaka, Stoke, Wainuiomata, Te Anau, Fairlie and Otorohanga.

  4. Darien Fenton 4

    This is a significant win for the Living Wage Aotearoa movement. Yes we can all criticise Westpac, but is a refreshing change from yesterday’s doom and gloom from the right on Fair Pay Agreements. I congratulate my former National colleague Simon Power for doing the right thing, Who else has gone on from that enclave to do something for workers? Oh thats right. No one.

    • vto 4.1

      Jim Bolger just yesterday..?

      edit: one must always keep in mind that the Nats are conservatives. They never do this stuff. They are incapable and it is not their role in life. However, it is amusing how conservatives and society always end up where the hippies were decades before. Think organic food, think climate change, think Waiheke ffs… The Nats will eventually catch up…

  5. millsy 5

    What springs to mind is how many ‘givebacks’ are being imposed to get this living wage? Will bank workers get their wages docked to pay for their uniform now? Will they lose their Christmas bonus? What about pensions (if they have them) and redunancy provisions? What about allowances and overtime?

    We like to talk of wages, but it seems that this comes at the expense of conditions.

  6. vto 6

    Good stuff and a sign that these issues are catching on..

    Push wealth to the top and society collapses
    Push wealth to the bottom and society strengthens

    Westpac acknowledge this truth

  7. patricia bremner 7

    Westpac has had its failures in the past, but this won’t be one of them Win Win.

  8. grumpy 8

    Bullshite PR exercise, they could have done it without the media release.
    As someone that has worked on in-house bank videos for the last 20+ years, this is to make you feel good while they fleece you and send profits overseas. These people ‘release’ this information as a business strategy, don’t fall for it.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      They agreed to living wage accreditation. This is a big coup for the living wage movement. Don’t knock it.

    • timeforacupoftea 8.2

      Go for it Grumpy give Westpac heaps from me to, my comment at 10

  9. Jum 9

    Gimme a break; Simon Power wants back into parliament.

  10. timeforacupoftea 10

    The bastards i.e. Westpac.
    We have up to $7,000 in my every day account monthly,
    which is our income account and bills are paid from here,
    we earn zero interest every month.

    another $2,050 in a bonus saver account where it earns untaxed $2.85 Bonus interest and 14 cents interest.
    If we transfers any cash from the bonus account in a month we just earn 14 cents.

    So I say BASTARDS to the Westpac Bank daily.

    We have been with Westpac since the day they arrived in NZ.

    So workers of the bank cheers to you for helping to lower my fairly poor interest rate return.

    • The Al1en 10.1

      So $9050 pm and you’re winging about the interest you’re not getting. 😆

      Try $2276 wages a month at Kiwi bank, maxed out $500 od at ANZ.

      We were so poor…

      Rich prick 😆

    • Richard McGrath 10.2

      Shouldn’t that excessive wealth be confiscated and redistributed according to need?

  11. Jum 11

    Any business that does not pay a living wage should not be in business. If ‘they’ want to start a business they should be offering staff a stake in that business until they can pay a living wage, so everyone stands or falls on the success or failure of that business. Government should be assisting small business with standard compliance paperwork and advice to reduce their charges.

    If Kiwi Bank is not paying a living wage, force ’em.

    Didn’t National’s Simon Power leave parliament and land a plum job assisting the so-called government bank to sell off public assets? Convenient? Dodgy?

    The benefits of a living wage for the future of New Zealand is a given. Otherwise, NZ starts to sound like the historic spin levelled against a decent health policy in Obama’s US.

  12. Blazer 12

    Westpac as shown by the inquiry in Australia are just parasites.
    Thieves in suits…’sorry we are gonna be good from now on’.

    NZ’s biggest export is profits and these arseholes need more than tokenism to justify their existence.

    In effect they are owned by Wall St and The City.Please fuck off.

  13. JohnSelway 13

    Well, Westpac have lost a loyal customer in me by pandering to this lefty nonsense

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      Spoken like a true RWNJ.

      • JohnSelway 13.1.1

        Ahaha I knew I’d catch someone if i dangled the hook. I of course welcome Westpac and it’s livable wage but I had a few wines so thought I’d go fishing 😉

        Just playing around with you – re: Poe’s Law

      • JohnSelway 13.1.2

        Sorry – I want trying to troll anyone, just wanted to see how long it took for someone to drop a “RWNJ”

  14. Infused 14

    Its pr. Likely to keep govt happy

    Stop being so silly.

  15. Stunned mullet 15

    What nonsense-staff at the banks have all been on living wage for years. Cunning PR by Power, bet they use cleaners for their premises via third parties that don’t get a living wage.

  16. Chris T 16

    Apparently all their own staff are already over living wage, so it’s the contracted cleaners, security etc (Heard an interview with them)

    So I am assuming it isn’t even them paying for it

    Not sure how that even works.

    Do they put it in the contract the workers who do their sites have to be paid this?

    If so, this is probably the one and only time I would agree with collective bargaining with the cleaning and security companies as it would be extremely unfair on the other workers in the companies. It would be which ones suck up more get the gig.

  17. peterlepaysan 17

    Westpac is a bank. Trust it at your peril.

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