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Greens Party’s workers policy to restore link between effort and reward

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union.

The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum wage by the end of their first term (and a Living Wage for core government and contracted workers), a four week minimum redundancy package, addressing top pay and taking action on the gap between high and low pay, and creating measures to boost bargaining power and make workplaces more democratic.

By addressing the issues of low wages, growing inequality, job insecurity, structural unemployment, poor trade union access and workers rights, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says that workers will be given a greater opportunity to direct their own economy.

“These priorities reflect the changing nature of work in Aotearoa, and make it clear that the Greens are to be taken seriously as a party that represents workers’ interests”, said Robert Reid.

“The focus on improving the lot of the working poor is absolutely critical; stagnating wages for too many New Zealanders not only creates dangerous class divisions, but also act a handbrake on economic growth.

“The inclusion of other issues like pay equity, taking action on CEO pay, exploring alternatives to the current enterprise bargaining framework, the ‘just transition’ (which brings together issues of job creation and climate change) and exploring ideas for democratising our workplaces show that the Greens will bring both creativity and intelligence to any future government.

“These priorities fit comfortably alongside the pro-worker agendas of the Labour and Internet Mana Parties, and will make for an interesting post-election discussion. Regardless, the Greens are demonstrating that they are not just an ‘environmentalist’ party. They are articulating a complete alternative economic vision that puts workers and the environment ahead of corporate profits and fiscal austerity.”

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