Who will follow Warehouse with Living Wage?

The Labour Party is challenging other major companies to follow the lead of The Warehouse and pay a living wage, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s spokesperson for labour issues.

“Today’s announcement by The Warehouse that it will commit to pay increases at or above the Living Wage shows that good employers in New Zealand are getting the message that a low wage, high turnover workforce is no longer the future.

“The Warehouse is the first major corporate to show leadership by committing to a Living Wage and Labour congratulates it for that.  I hope many more companies will follow The Warehouse’s example.

“The Warehouse understands that workers not only need decent incomes, but there are also business benefits.  It will reap the rewards of a more engaged workforce, lower turnover and higher productivity.

“The Warehouse’s decision comes on top of announcements by other companies in the retail and service industries who have said they will not be pursuing youth wages, despite recent government legislation.

“It is really pleasing to see that some New Zealand companies are rejecting the old model of a low wage, low skill, long-hours economy.

“But sadly, National is still looking to turn back the clock to the 1990s with a rebadged version of the Employment Contracts Act, which had a chilling effect on wages and led to a fragmented, more casualised and insecure labour market.

“I hope the government is listening to the message, because National’s views of employment rights are increasingly at odds with those of businesses.

“The Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges needs to go back to the drawing board and his first stop should be a conversation with The Warehouse,” says Darien Fenton.