31 Jan 2011

Unions push for bigger boost to minimum wage

3:28 pm on 31 January 2011

The Council of Trade Unions says New Zealand's productivity record could be improved by a bigger boost to the minimum wage than is being considered by the Government.

Prime Minister John Key has hinted at a new $13 an hour rate, representing a 2% increase.

CTU President Helen Kelly says that's not good enough given inflation is 4% at present.

Ms Kelly says companies have under-invested in plant and machinery for years, leaving workers under-equipped and less productive because labour is relatively cheap, and a bigger increase in the minimum wage could boost productivity.

But Business New Zealand's chief executive Phil O'Reilly says raising the minimum wage would cost jobs.