John Key’s track record on raising wages – 3. Ports of Auckland Dispute
3. Ports of Auckland Dispute
“The average income has been about $90,000, so it hasn’t been a badly-paid place. But the problem is flexibility when ships arrive and when staff get called out, how they can cope with that.” – John Key, 12 March 2012
Putting aside from the myth of POAL maritime workers earning $90,000 – so what?
Even if it were true (which is doubtful) – POAL has never released the workings of how they arrived at that sum, despite requests), isn’t such a good wage precisely what Dear Leader was advocating in his quotes above?
POAL management sought to reduce costs; casualise their workforce; and compete with Ports of Tauranga for shipping business. Unfortunately, competing on costs would, by necessity, involve driving down wages.
There is also a high degree of price-fixing by shipping cartels, as was pointed out by the Productivity Commision in April,
Rather than supporting the workers, Dear Leader bought into a situation where international shipping companies were playing New Zealand ports off against each other, to gain the lowest possible port-charges. Even local company, Fonterra, was playing the game.
Here we have a situation where New Zealand workers were enjoying high wages – something John Key insists he supports – and yet he was effectively allowing international corporations to create circumstances where those wages could eventually be cut and driven down.
As with the “Hobbit Law”, our Dear Leader appears to pay more heed to the demands of international corporate interests than to fulfilling his pledges to raise wages.
Precisely how does this raise wages, as per Dear Leader’s promises?
Next chapter: 4. Rest Home Workers
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