Living wage campaign backfires on Labour

What’s the bet Labour can’t see their much hyped Living Wage campaign coming back to bite them in the arse. But that’s exactly what’s about to happen.

Labour and the Green Taliban have got all excited wheeling out Parliament’s cleaners thinking this will smash Simon Bridges and his efforts to finally re-balance the pendulum that has been captured by union scum like the dodgy SFWU.

TV3 seems to have lapped up their union-spun plight as well, giving them yet more airtime and calling on MPs to clean the dunnies in Bowen House. Even the Green Taliban has tried to leap in on the action with fruit-loop Denise Roche and Greenpeace stooge Gareth Hughes (RFC) wanting a living wage of $18.40 an hour.

The Government is quietly watching this roll out. 

See observers of politics may recall way back in 2006, the then Labour Government, along with the SFWU and Building Service Contractors of NZ (BSC) jointly signed the ‘Principles for the Property Services Industry. They included a nasty little clause called Rule 67.

Rule 67 is nothing short of a union rort – effectively forcing any company looking to apply for Government contracts to be a member of the Building Services Contractors (BSC).

Now jump forward to 2013, and you have a situation where, thanks to Labour, Parliamentary Services is required to contract only with companies that have signed the Principles for the Property Services Industry.

These companies, including the employer of Parliament’s cleaners – Spotless Cleaning Services quite happily harped on about paying their cleaning staff at least 35c per hour above the minimum wage of $14.10 per hour thanks to a MECA agreement with the SFWU.

The BSC’s El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo even went as far to say;

“The MECA, combined with the Principles agreement, provides certainty for thousands of cleaning staff and employers around salary and employment conditions for the next 12 months”

There was sure as hell no talk of $18.40 per hour!

So for all the hot air from Labour on this issue, the real fact is that a key reason Parliament’s cleaners aren’t paid more is because Labour wanted to keep wages low.

National would do well to remind the opposition of that wee fact.


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  • Michael

    The “Living Wage” has been determined by two Anglican Church researchers, working from a scummy little building behind the War Memorial Library in Lower Hutt. The work was paid for by The Living Wage Campaign. No peer review (or indeed any review of any sort) has been provided alongside the paper.

    And despite the claim that $18.40 an hour for 60 hours for a family of four is a living wage, I’m not aware of anyone earning less than that (including beneficiaries) who have starved to death recently.

    • sandynobb

      Charles Waldegrave and his merry band of Christian Socialists – what an oxymoron! – including the hippy Bishop of Wellington, Justin ‘Ducky’ Duckworth. Cuntlips is a Christian Socialist fellow traveller.

  • blokeintakapuna

    A number of things come to mind about this issue and the spin the CTU / Kelly is putting on it. Firstly, a job holder does not “own” the job, they are the custodian/caretaker. The only people that actually “own” a job are those that own the business. Arguably a job holder actually has more “security” than the business owner through employment legislation – as the business owner must work all the hours necessary to ensure the doors remain open, the owner takes all the stress, business, commercial and financial risk and often works far in excess of 60+ hours a week in a SME – and when eventual profits are generated – once translated into an hourly rate, the business owner often receives less monies/profit than their employees. Certainly in the first few years of operation anyway. Before wealth can be re-distributed, it must be generated, so you’d think that there would be greater protection for the individuals that take the financial and personal risk that actually generates employment for others – not constant attacks from 3rd party parasites with vested interests attempting to justify their dwindling credibility, existence and relevance in 2013.
    The second thing that really struck me about the cleaner who spent 21 years in the same job, was that during that time, they could have had free student loans and completed 5 x 4 year Degree’s – dramatically increasing their employment proposition for themselves and for employers. The only excuse for their situation is their own laziness at not attempting to further themselves… and if they won’t do it for themselves, it’s no wonder they remain in a low-paying, low skilled employment.
    Regardless of the hourly rate, there will always be some jobs that are the lowest paid – those that usually require less skill, thought, risk and application. No one is forcing an individual to remain on the lowest starting rate – but it’s up to them to also help themselves through application and use of the free student loans etc to further their own existence in NZ’s meritocracy.
    Venezuela offers the possibility to exist being paid the same as everyone else without any application or effort – just take your own toilet paper…

    • CheesyEarWax

      Totally agree. I can’t stand how union idiots always banging on about protecting jobs, foreigners taking their jobs etc…, like something thats naturally created and belongs to NZ and every NZers is entitled to. Never crossed their minds that the employers who creates the jobs and its they that disestablishes them, not the workers. Workers has the skills and owns these skills, not jobs.

  • Col

    Attention all MPs due to the wage increase we are limiting toilets for MPs.
    2 Toilets for Nats
    2 ” ” Labour
    0 NZF go over to the pub
    0 Greens bring your own can for recycling, and use umbrellas outside when it is raining.
    -0 Mana party banned from using any as you are not allowed to bring your shit with you.
    All other parties join Winston.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Col – Spoke to fat Tuatara about your toilet proposal. She is planning to bring her own green toilet.

      • Dave

        Her green toilet is NZ’s rolling countryside SCS, and along with her Green party mates, they are all intent on Shitting all over NZ, whilst troughing everything possible.

  • thor42

    Even a **12-year-old** could tell you that if a “living wage” were brought in, it would lead to massive job losses. Instead of a company paying (say) 10 people at (say) $14 per hour, they will sack 5 of them and pay the remaining 5 the “living wage”. Result?
    Five people are WORSE off than before, thanks to Labour’s “bright idea”.
    It’s “swings and roundabouts”.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Any job losses will be offset by the rich pricks’ tax Curryleaf is planning. Just to remind the rich pricks who post here:

      60,000 – 89,999 – 39%
      >90,000 – 42%

      • Dave

        Lucky I’m offshore and don’t qualify for your rich pricks tax SCS, what a shame.

        • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

          Wait for Curryleaf’s announcement of a “Overseas Kiwi Levy”… watch this space Dave…We can tax anything that moves and breaths….

          • Dave

            Good Luck with that SCS, he is welcome to visit and personally try to get his tax, in fact all ex-pats can have him personally come get his tax, be the best use of his time ever.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Living wage?
    $18.40 per hour?
    And when the cleaners get $18.40, what will the accounts clerk’s want, and then the supervisors of the accounts clerks, then the accountants etc etc how much is this going to cost the tax payer across the whole 50 000 core govt. employees?
    Say $4 per hour increase for all.
    $200 000 extra per week.
    $10.4 million extra per year in tax payers money.
    FOR NO IMPROVEMENT in services.

    • thor42

      … and for *many more* people on the dole, as mentioned in my post.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Curryleaf is budgeting 4.5M for this. So he has to be right. Check your calculator mate….

      • johnbronkhorst

        So he recons $4.5 mill/$8320ea = only 540 employees effected……HA HA HA HA I think it is him who needs to learn how to use a calculator!!

    • Agent BallSack

      Everyone’s going to get a minimum wage under Labour. Its a communistic ideal, everyone is worth exactly as much as the next person regardless of skills or even if suitable to be employed. Roll on Nirvana!

  • LionKing

    The more Helen Kelly bleats on about this the better it is for the Government. What a fucking joke. The one thing these commies can’t tell you is where the money will actually come from to pay these people $18.40 an hour. Oh that’s right, it comes from some magic money tree out the back of Parliament somewhere.

    • johnbronkhorst

      No it comes from the sapling growing in YOUR and my wallet!!

    • parorchestia

      From the same source as Quantitative Easing, most of the Green Party’s economic initiatives, and the Tooth Fairy’s funds?

    • Team ENZ

      did you not know money grows on green taliban trees? If the tree doesn’t grow money, they will just print more…green taliban policy..

  • nudgy

    $NZ18.40 when converted to US dollars for comparison sake will be the highest minimum wage hourly rate in the world. Its just bullshit for a little economy like NZ to be the most generous employer in the world.

  • Morgy

    Not once in that Campbell piece did they mention WFF.

  • Shoreboy57

    Has been asked elsewhere but not answered – how much are MediaWorks paying to clean John Campbell’s dunny?

    • Agent BallSack

      Nothing because John Campbells shit doesnt stink.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        I hope you are not saying this from your personal experience…that will be really sad Agent…

  • Let us not forget that Silent T has already promised the Living Wage will happen!!!!
    Surely, he can be relied upon to keep his word. After all, he is a Labia politician.

    • Update: And he has just confirmed all his promises to the Helen Kelly Talkfest this morning. We can all look forward to a ‘truly red New Zealand’, he assures us. The unions will be paid for their support.

    • kehua

      Yeah , he just did not say when…… ummmmmm 2035.

  • cows4me

    Fucking socialists, God wasn’t to kind when he handed out the brains for these pricks. A living wage, a basic wage it’s the same thing. Once an artificial wage level is set it rules out competitiveness, it increases inflation, it quickly becomes irrelevant- prices rise to suit, it gives employers an excuse to stick to the base level, the useless will remain useless, it destroys productivity, it destroys business, basically it’s horseshit.

    • CheesyEarWax

      Imagine the call centre type jobs that will go overseas if the Living Wage is enforced? What about employers reducing their workforce to meet the extra costs? These idiots just don’t understand, or don’t want to know, the cause and effects of such policy.

      • drummerboy

        that’s the funny thing. A call center job at ANZ stats on $32,000 + $1000 stock a year which is really good pay for that kind of work. but a living wage will pay aprox 33,000 a year.

        • Honcho

          Exactly, think of the people earning around and up to $18.40 p.h. who will now be demotivated now they have been effectively bought down to the same level as those now on the minimum wage.

  • GazzW

    “Show me the money!”

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    National being a useless party will not move their fat arses off the couch to talk about this. So forget it pal.

  • drummerboy

    living wage = banning people from earning a living and the dignity that comes with that if their employer pays less than 1$8.40. ‘Living wage’ hurts the very people it professes to help. these islander immigrant cleaners will be complaining more when they lose their jobs because their employer can no longer afford to employee them. what they are effectively doing is asking the government to put them out of a job.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Curryleaf confirmed his commitment to living wage again in a combined trade union congress in Wellington today…He also said…

    “I see it every day when I’m out in the regions where people are coming up and asking, almost begging us to get rid of the current Government and bring a sense of fairness to workplaces. I think with good organisation and with clarity of purpose a lot of the people that couldn’t be bothered voting last time will sure as heck be bothered next

    Why am I getting an impression that John Key’s days are numbered? People are begging Curryleaf to get rid of this government, that too in the regions….I also saw a pig fly just now…

    • Agent BallSack

      Even that sounded suspiciously like Jacinda begging on her knees for one last chance at her job.

      • Bob Murphy


  • Kevin O’Brien

    The “living wage” campaign owes more to politics than common sense. Overseas campaigns do not always translate well here where we are relatively well off: over 60% of the country are net tax recipients. See here for more on my concerns:

  • Hazards001

    Wait till I tell my boss that when he gives the stop/go boy a 26% pay increase I will be expecting the same. Only fair considering one of my jobs is to fix his fuck ups, and I work a bloody sight more than the 40 hrs I’m paid to do it.
    Of course 26% of my salary comes to a lot more than $4.90 an hour!

    The fuckn halfwits. They have no idea the ramifications to this sort of fiscal meddling and populous vote buying!

  • Bryan

    what are the maths of these labour promises its a 33% increase on the current mim wage which will need a massive increase in productivity to enable that to be paid for and considering most of the jobs that the low paid do are not high productivity jobs where is the money going to come from.

    The more serious issue is if they slam this up to 18.40 most industries will have to increase their goods and services about 10% and by the time those supplies have been wholesaled and retailed you could see at least a 20% increase on what people are paying Now which means most would be even worse off.

    The crucial thing is as a nation we need to produce more in less time and so reduce the cost of producing each item but that whole concept of us all producing say 10% more service or goods in the same day we just don’t seem to grasp,as we are often locked into to a system of working that is anti anyone that works faster than others All Labour is wanting to do is take from the most productive and give it to the lest productive and take a cut for themselves along the way and promise everything and then say “once the Country can afford it” at the way they propose to manager the economy they will never have to honour their promise

  • sheppy

    Wonder if they’ve considered that the living wage will have to go up to pay for the extra cost of the services that go up to pay for the living wage.
    Presumably the communists will keep this perpetual motion up until the economy is totally stuffed and there’s no money left….