Achieving good jobs and decent lives for workers was the organising call for delegates attending the FIRST Union conference this week. The union has a four year plan centred on achieving decent work and a decent life, General Secretary Robert Reid said.
FIRST Union is supporting a new campaign against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), "It's Our Future."
The New Zealand government is negotiating this international agreement that could have a huge effect on the lives of ordinary kiwis. It involves eleven Asian and Pacific-rim countries, including the United States. If it goes ahead, we risk damage to our innovative economy, our pristine environment, our health, and the ability to shape our own future.
The wage gap with Australia wasn’t helped by last week’s increase of the Australian minimum wage to nearly $20 in New Zealand terms. Fair Work Australia raised the Australian minimum wage to $AU15.96 an hour based on a 38-hour week, around $20 New Zealand with currency conversion.
“Australia has higher wages not only because their firms invest more in their plant and machinery, but they have maintained a national structure for making sure workers’ wages keep up with the cost of living,” FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.