Kudos to the Warehouse for pay move

It’s great news that the Warehouse is making it a policy to lift wages.

This move is partly inspired by the Living Wage campaign.

The Green Party has been actively supporting this campaign that would see big employers sign up to pay a living wage.  This is the wage that would allow their employees to achieve a decent standard of living and also enjoy proper time off with their families.

Employers in the retail sector employ thousands of workers and this is why it is essential that workers, and their unions, and employers work together to try and tackle the growing inequality in New Zealand society.

In the post war period the minimum wage used to be close to 80% of the average wage.

Since the 1980s this figure has dropped to around 50% of the average wage making New Zealand one of the most unequal societies in the OECD.

The retail sector can be great agents of change.  It’s great to see the bosses of the Warehouse looking beyond the cost to their bottom line and seeing that an engaged workforce is just as important.  The Warehouse considers that this move will lead to greater worker engagement, lower staff turnover, and improved sales and higher productivity.

This move will also pay dividends for both the Warehouse and other retailers. More money in the pockets of low and middle income New Zealanders means more money spent in the grocery and retail sector.

Now is the time for some other big organisations to step up to the challenge of providing a decent standard of living for their workers.

About Denise Roche 161 Articles

Green Party MP

6 Comments Posted

  1. My first Supermarket job back in the mid 1990s paid $4.32 an hour, despite this I enjoyed going to work and giving great customer service.

    More $$$ does not equal better employee job engagement, its more about attitude than money.

    The right attitude is what most young people lack these days, and that comes down to bad parenting. Paying someone more $$ to flip burgers wont make them a better employee.

    If anything it will teach them they can get something for nothing and continue this cycle of degradation we see in our youth.

  2. I vaguely think that they (and McDonalds) used to pay fairly well, but then followed everyone else down the fiscal-repression rabbit-hole.

    Someone who used to do farm management told me that farm managers’ wages had gone up $4k while he was away for 10 years, and can no longer really keep a family.

  3. Do we actually know The Warehouse was paying shocking wages or are we just assuming that because they’ve taken this on that they must have been…? My partner was told a year or two back by an employee working in their store in Nelson that they were on something like $30p/h as a warehouse person, not the bare minimum like my partner was getting.

  4. And so they (Warehouse) should – shockingly low wages so that on the floor employees have no reason to take pride in their jobs

  5. Yup and that’s the way it should be – businesses paying higher wages of their own free will as it benefits everyone, not government coercion and inappropriate market interference.

    And sorry but not earning the same amount as someone else doesn’t make you ‘unequal’ – greed and envy are two sides of the same coin and neither are particularly nice human traits!

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