Smiths City to pay Living Wage

Smiths CityFurniture and appliance retailer Smiths City has committed to paying its 591 workers a Living Wage from October.

First Union retail, finance and commerce secretary Tali Williams says Smiths City’s decision signals a brighter future for it’s workers and their families.

“Our Worth It campaign, that asks for the Living Wage for retail workers has been highlighting the importance of pay for a healthy society. We are very glad Smiths City has turned this corner,” she said.

A living wage is calculated at $20.55 per hour, $4.05 more than the minimum wage set by the New Zealand Government, according to the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand website, and enables workers to pay for the necessities of life while still participating as an active citizen in the community.

One worker, a full time supervisor, will be earning an extra $142 dollars a week before tax.

“That’s something positive,” they said, “It’ll just go straight towards bills and the mortgage, it’ll take a lot of stress off myself and my wife.”

Another, who will receive an extra $79 a week, says, “[it’s] just going to be a great help. That’ll help with everything actually, I run this [house] by myself.”

A single mum who will be receiving a similar increase says the decision is very unexpected.

“That would be a great help for me because I’m a single parent. It will mainly go on bills and my grandchildren.”

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