minimum wage

Bob Jones on the living wage

Yesterday Bob Jones gave his considered opinion on the living wage.

He has spent some considerable time talking to retailers about costs in their businesses, which led him to a discussion on wages and staffing:

My inquiry as to the best employees brought an unsurprising answer – new immigrants by a country mile. What particularly interested me was the salaries for what’s essentially menial work. In most cases they’re on the minimum wage. Any more and they’re out of business, he said, and I believe him.

I mention all of this in the context of the absurdly titled living wage clamour, the noise invariably coming from leftish critics not employing anyone, nor ever likely to. There are exceptions. Two leftie Wellington city councillors, respective owners of small city retail food businesses, led the charge recently for menial task council employees to be paid the so-called living wage. Inquiry however, revealed their own employees were on the minimum wage.

“We’d go broke,” they wailed when their hypocrisy was exposed. It was classic left do as I say, not as I do, double standards. Everyone benefits from a high wage economy as it increases spending power and thus the economy. But it also necessarily increases prices which no one wants to meet, thus shop assistants are the lowest paid sector in the work force, despite being one of the largest.   Read more »

Minimum/Living wage outrage

minwage

A reader emails

Have just been reading the article on Stuff about Aroha Ireland. [ and the Herald, and TV3 - running leftie sob stories for Labour and the unions in unison as we see time and time again ]

It became fairly obvious reading the piece that it was politically slanted and large parts likely not true (‘fleeing’ the country, and $38 per hour to work in a warehouse?!) However this is not what annoyed me the most. Read more »

Friday morning Mailbag – What do we look like to people overseas?

First, the obligatory “thank but no thanks” Herald letter

Dear Editor

I have now reached the point where I can no longer subscribe to a
newspaper that has sunk to such a low point in journalistic bias as
yours has over the last weeks.

Not content with publicising a left wing orchestrated media campaign
and actually setting aside a full page interview with Mr Hager, a
self-confessed user of stolen material, you have today allowed a
political campaign by the New Zealand Council of Christian Churches to
appear as an editorial item in the on-line issue under the spurious
headline of a survey on “How Well Off are You”.

Where is the balanced reporting that shows other statistics
demonstrating there has been no increase in the income gap since the
mid-nineties if this was indeed editorial? No, it is a political
advertorial that you have allowed on your “front page”.

Regards.
Graham [redacted]

Read more »

Want robots at McDonald’s? Hike the minimum wage

A reader in the US writes:

It’s been an interesting debate here with the usual rough and tumble of different layers of government, it’s a struggle to get the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour which is outraging groups on both sides.

Unlike back home the media provide both sides and then leave it to the viewer to decide. They will have the hard working fast food worker putting across their reasoned position then the small business owner who will have to let a staff member go if the wages are hiked. There is no screaming from a Helen Kelly and neither would the business community have someone as hopeless as the guy from BuisinessNZ either backing their argument.

It’s a compelling argument that if the minimum wage is too high someone won’t get the opportunity of that entry level job which allows them to gain skills and experience that allows them to move ahead. You get a real life view of what would happen if you pass that tipping point of pricing young people out of the labour market and it’s called 50% unemployment and a lost generation in Europe, compare that to the USA where young people in service industry jobs are generally happy to help and happy in life.

If you find yourself at 40 still on the same wage as your 25 year old boss it shouldn’t be up to the government to give you that pay rise…in fact that very same caring leftie government is a threat to you as they will price you out of a job which could end up being a terminal situation.

Read more »

More money for everyone!

The Green Party would like to raise the minimum wage.  As we saw the other day the minimum wage is paid to only 2.4% of the New Zealand workforce, and it is to cover jobs that are, in general, entry level jobs.

Other centrepieces of the Green Party’s workers policy are an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by December, and annual increases up to $18 an hour by 2017. It is also committed to paying core public sector workers the living wage of $18.80 an hour.

The changes would eventually give a person an extra $6400 a year, or $125 a week.

The Greens also want a compulsory redundancy payout of four weeks’ wages, and to scrap youth wages, 90-day trials for new workers, and The Hobbit laws that make screen workers contractors — and ineligible for collective bargaining — by default.

The National Party was quick to dismiss these measures as costing thousands of jobs and putting up more roadblocks for businesses.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment estimates that an immediate increase to a minimum wage of $18 an hour could cost up to 16,250 jobs — although economic conditions could be different by 2017.

But Mrs Turei dismissed this: “In the US, there are 13 states that have just raised the minimum wage. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for families. There hasn’t been a significant drop in jobs.

“Companies will need to pay more to their workers, and therefore their profits will go down slightly. In return, they get a more stable workforce, better productivity and greater commitment.

If you are on minimum wage, and you stay on minimum wage and you can’t find any other jobs that  pay better than minimum wage, then you’re a barely functional useless person.   Read more »

Mana economic media release (yes, I know)

Before you carry on reading, I need to warn you:  this is going to hurt your head:

MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister.

Minimum wage worker 28% tax

Prime Minister 2.8% tax

The minimum wage worker on 40 hours per week earns $29,640 and pays $4,207 in income tax and $4,149.60 in GST giving a total tax of $8,356.60 or 28% of income.

On the other hand the Prime Minister earns $428,000 from his PM’s salary along with this year’s $5,000,000 increase in his wealth (according to NBR’s rich list) which gives him a total income of $5,428,000. On this total income he pays just $132,160 in income tax and approximately $21,400 in GST giving a total tax of $153,560 or 2.8% of income.

This is a national embarrassment. Those least able to pay are under a heavy tax burden while the super-rich pay peanuts.

The National government and its attack bloggers refer to the working poor as scum, bludgers and ferals but it’s clear the real problem is with the top 1% of income earners who get all the benefits of taxpayer funded facilities and services but don’t pull their weight paying for them.

Cleaners, fast-food workers, hospitality workers and security guards are all heavily subsidising the lifestyles of the superrich.

These figures show we need an overhaul of our tax system so the Prime Minister and his rich-list colleagues pay their fair share.

Actually, only one attack blogger refers to the working poor as scum, bludgers and ferals.  I have yet to see the Government use those words.  And no, I’m not “theirs”.  I can assure you, they have no control over me.  Nobody does.   Read more »

Labour relaunches their Hobbit Hater policy

Labour has re-launched their Hobbit Hater policy at the behest of the unions, proving that their investment in purchasing David Cunliffe and the 20% vote for the leadership has provided a cash for policy arrangement that is giving their leaders sticky knickers.

The Labour Party wants to repeal the law changes that were ceded to Warner Bros over The Hobbit films, a move which the Government says would cripple the $3 billion screen industry.

Labour leader David Cunliffe and MP Andrew Little launched the party’s work and wages policy yesterday, which included a boost to the minimum wage, and a commission of inquiry into workplace conditions.

Here’s an idea…why don;t they just declare a wages crisis, and in short order National will fix the problem. Seems to have worked for manufacturing and housing…it’s worth a crack.

So Labour wants to kill off the film industry in NZ, Dotcom’s party just wants to steal it, and the Greens want to destroy the oil and gas industry.

They really are the wrecking ball of the NZ economy.

But wait it gets worse…Labour also wants to kill jobs.  Read more »

Fenton wrong on contract labour

Darien Fenton has gone out to the media attacking modern work practices:

Employers are increasingly using temporary or contract staff in place of permanent positions, according to a new report.

Labour says that’s bad news because the workers have no rights and no defence against arbitrary dismissal.

MP Darien Fenton is citing a report by recruitment agency Hays which says 64 per cent of employers now use temporary or contract staff.

And 18 per cent say they intend increasing their use of those staff.

“Contractors have no employment rights at all, including no minimum wage, no holidays and no rights to protection against unfair dismissal,” Ms Fenton said.

“At its worst, temporary workers are used to replace good, well-paying jobs with agencies who employ workers on minimum wage to do essentially the same work as those they work alongside.”

Ms Fenton says even more disturbing is that some employers admitted using temporary and contract work as a means to assess ongoing employment.

“The 90-day trial period was supposed to provide a way for evaluating suitability of employment, yet employers are continuing to dream up new devices to avoid the obligations of employment law and put the risk back on workers,” she said. Read more »

Chickens coming home to roost for Kim Dotcom, MPAA and former staff suing

Last night Kim Dotcom tweeted about his former employee suing him for unpaid wages.

What Kim Dotcom doesn’t state is that he worked that staff member 90 hours per week at below the minimum wage. If he had paid his staff at or above the minimum wage while he continued to live a life of opulence then the staff member might have been able to save for himself rather than going cap in hand to Dotcom.

This is how Dotcom operates, he makes people dependent upon him, then hands out “gifts” instead of paying outstanding wages, and then when the staff decided to pursue him for the wages he slams them in public on twitter when there is a court process underway. The true mark of a sociopath treating people as play things, manipulating them emotionally and financially to keep them under control.

Then to heap misery on top of that lawsuit the MPAA has filed a massive lawsuit against him as well.  Read more »

[REVEALED] Kim Dotcom: The workers and their slave wages

“…full wrath of my legal capabilities … I’m going to destroy anybody…”

Kim Dotcom is looming large in the New Zealand political scene and is set to launch his political party soon.

No one knows what policies his party will have but it will be interesting to see what his and the party stance is on the minimum wage.

This is a story of slave wages, bullying, intimidation and the sheer effrontery of a man spending literally millions on himself but short-changing his most loyal staff.

Before the raid on the Dotcom mansion there was a staff of approximately 8 security guards working 40 hour weeks in shifts. These guards were in addition to the personal protection staff that included Wayne Tempero and Regan Stewart.

They were on the normal pay rates for static security guards, just a few dollars above the minimum wage but at least with some sort of regularity and job security.

After the raid on the mansion and the subsequent court orders limiting the finances of Dotcom, the security contingent was reduced to just 4 staff. The job still needed to be done and the remaining 4 workers worked in excess of 90 hours per week. But with a catch. Their pay was never increased.

Essentially these important and loyal staff were now working more than twice the hours they worked before but for the same amount that they worked for 40 hours.

They went from just above the minimum wage to well under. Sources have told WOBH that they were effectively working for $8-00 per hour.

After the raid, their existing contracts were essentially ripped up and new contracts put in place with Mona Dotcom. There was an understanding with these loyal and hard working staff, who had stuck by Kim Dotcom in the aftermath of the raid that the overtime would be treated as back pay and that they would be paid just as soon as money started to flow from Mega.

And the money did start to flow. Kim Dotcom, through his wife, has reportedly pulled in nearly $10 million from share sell downs, and have pretty much spent the lot on frivolities and personal vanity projects like his album, like Rhythm & Vines where he allegedly spent more than $500,000 in order to secure access to the main event and essentially hijack it. On top of that reports suggest that more than $2 million was spent on the album and there are confirmed reports of a not inconsequential amount being spent on another vanity project that is supposedly an “independent” documentary about the fabulous life of Kim Dotcom. In addition sources tell me that more than $1 million a month has been spent on forming the Internet party. These expenses and projects will become the subject of further stories in coming weeks.   Read more »