Union wants MIQ workers to receive living wage

Unite Union is calling on government and businesses to offer living wage to MIQ workers.

Unite Union is calling on government and businesses to pay the living wage to all managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers.

It comes as NZ’s largest hotel operator, Accor, moves to a living wage for all their workers.

The Living Wage, which is calculated each year by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit, is the hourly rate a worker needs to pay for life’s necessities and actively participate in the community.

The Living Wage rate is voluntary and is currently $22.10 per hour.

John Crocker, national secretary at Unite, said the union was thrilled to see the biggest player, Accor, pay working MIQ staff the living wage.

“These facilities are under contract to the government. We call on MBIE [Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment] to make the living wage a condition of these supply contracts,” said Crocker.

“Our MIQ workers are our front line of defence against Covid-19 and they are doing an incredible and brave job. This is in the face of low wages, stringent H&S practices and even stigma from the community. We’re very proud of them and they should be receiving a living wage, not minimum wage.”

Crocker said the union is calling on the other hotel operators of the MIQ facilities to follow Accor’s lead.

“Unite is running a petition so the NZ public can also show its appreciation to these workers and urge the government to make the other hotel operators lift their game and wages.”

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