Halloween protest against corporate Vampires

Published: Wed 28 Oct 2009 09:53 AM
Media Release
Unite Union
2pm - 27 October 2009
Halloween protest against corporate Vampires and poverty wages in Auckland City
Unite Union is mobilising hundreds of its members and supporters this Friday night to don Halloween costumes and march in Auckland City as part of its campaign for a $15 per hour minimum wage now and a minimum wage set at 66% of the average wage. Workers will converge on Queen Street the night before Halloween to ask John Key if the minimum wage in 2010 will be a trick or a treat for New Zealand’s most underpaid workers.
Unite members from fast-food restaurants, cinemas, call centres, SkyCity casino and dozens of other workplaces will march on Queen Street in protest against poverty wages and call on Prime Minister John Key and his Government to give all workers a living wage by increasing the minimum wage in 2010 to $15 per hour.
“Real wages have declined by 25% between 1982 and 2009 because the multinational corporations that dominate New Zealand’s economy have been allowed to get away with paying poverty wages to working people year after year,” said Unite Union National Director Mike Treen.
“On the flip-side worker productivity has increased 80% since 1978, average household debt went from 60% of GDP 15 years ago to 160% today and corporate profits have been steadily rising up until the financial crisis of 2008.
“The growing gap between New Zealand and Australian wages and living standards will not be halted until working people confront the corporate vampires who have been sucking the real value from working people’s wages over the last 27 years and demand a living wage for all workers,” continued Mike Treen.
The Halloween protest for a $15 per hour minimum wage in 2010 and indexing at 66% of the average wage begins at 7pm on Friday October 30 at Aotea Square, Queen Street in the Auckland CBD.
Unite is campaigning to get an immediate rise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The first part of the campaign is to collect over 300,000 signatures before May 7th 2010 on our Citizen's Initiated Referendum Petition. After the petition has been presented to Parliament every voter in New Zealand will get the chance to vote in a referendum. Unite's Supersizemypay campaign successfully saw the elimination of youth rates and substantial rises in the minimum wage.

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