The Council Of Trade Unions says wages need to increase to keep up with inflation.
Inflation reached 4.5% in March. Rising fuel and tobacco prices and an increase in GST last year, were all major factors.
CTU secretary Peter Conway says the last increase in wages on an annnual basis was only 1.7%.
But Business New Zealand says real inflation is about 2%, similar to wage increases when the effect of GST is deducted.
Chief executive Phil O'Reilly says tax cuts and changes in social welfare compensated for the rise in the Goods & Services Tax.