ERA imposes living wage on Mitre 10 businesses in NZ first

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 9:37AM
The union claims Jacks Hardware and Timber deliberately stalled their collective bargaining agreement.

A first in this country when it comes to the living wage.

Mitre 10 workers in Dunedin and Mosgiel will be paid at least the living wage after the Employment Relations Authority imposed it on Jack's Hardware.

It means anyone who is a First Union member will be paid no less than $19 an hour.

First Union's Tali Williams told Mike Hosking it sets a precedent.

"An objective party has come along and said retail workers should be paid a living wage. They've looked at the market rates, they've looked at what other people earn in the industry, and they've said this is what the rate should be."

She says it shows employers they can't just refuse to negotiate.'

"All it ends up with is an imposed judgement, where they have to accept whether they like it or not. If they had just started negotiating in the first place, we wouldn't have had to get there."

Williams says it's been a six year battle.

CEO Neil Finn-House says only four of the more than 200 staff are union members.

He says he's pleased to have concluded the collective agreement.

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