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NDU: Unemployment Positively Impacted By Union Wage Settlements - Govt Must Do More

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
NDU: Unemployment Positively Impacted By Union Wage Settlements - Govt Must Do More

Workers in unions who are winning wage increases well in excess of the national average are helping to stimulate demand in the economy, but the government needs to be doing much more to keep workers in jobs, a union says.

Unemployment is up sharply to 6.8%, according to Statistics NZ figures released this morning.

The National Distribution Union said that the average wage increases for workers bargaining collectively in the NDU in the past year has been 2.73%, ahead of the national average of 1.6 percent reported in this Tuesday's Labour Cost Index.

"Putting money into workers pockets through decent wage increases flows throughout the economy, and keeps people in work," NDU General Secretary Robert Reid said.

"The economy needs more stimulus measures to keep workers in employment. Today's sharp rise in unemployment is clear evidence that the government needs to be doing much more. An increase in the minimum wage to $15 needs to be a core part of that stimulus."

Robert Reid said some of the strongest wage growth from union negotiated agreements had come from large chains in the retail sector.

"Union members at Progressive (Countdown, Foodtown, Woolworths) supermarkets, Bunnings and Kmart have all achieved increases of between 50c and $1.20 an hour (3% - 9%).

Robert Reid said that this week's wage figures came out on the eve of bargaining at The Warehouse, and workers from this chain also have expectations of a wage rise well above the current rate of inflation.

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