Union says many workers spending more than half their wages on housing costs

Union says many workers spending more than half their wages on housing costs

A combination of high housing costs and low wages are causing workers to take a wave of industrial action, according to the First Union.

The union said 20 distribution workers at car parts supplier Brake and Transmission (BNT) walked off the job on Wednesday, citing low wages and skyrocketing housing costs as the cause, and there had also been recent strikes at four other companies for the same reason.

First Union organiser Emir Hodzic who is representing the workers said working people in Auckland were struggling to keep up with escalating housing costs.

"Most wage earners will be spending more than half of their income on rent alone. People are struggling," he said.

"With housing costs skyrocketing, workers have no choice but to look to their employers to provide a wage they can afford to live on."

The union said workers at BNT were sitting on the minimum wage, but a large company like that should be paying its workers a living wage, he said

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Who's forcing them to work for bnt? Don't like it quit and if they can't find replacements they'll be forced to increase wages to attract people.

Best to follow the crowd and leave auckland unless you're a dr or lawyer, let the migrants put up with 3rd world living conditions like this if they want.

Olde NZ lifestyle still alive and well in Palmy.

It's much easier to moan and demand someone else fix your problems these days.

That doesn't work when we are flooding the country with migrant workers who will work for nothing.

Your logic doesn't work when there's an oversupply of labour.

It does. Globally there are replacement workers happy to work for min wage in auckland otherwise they'd have to pay more to get workers. Don't like it leave the place as don't see migration changing anytime soon

"happy". Ever been exploited?

instead of arguing among ourselves, should ask hard question to government or vote them out as the way it is continuing inequality does and will give rise to social tension and should avoid it reaching street level.

And vote in the same Lab/Greens coalition that have done such a crap job of running Auckland City for the past 6 years? The Lab/Green coalition that has short supplied the market and driven prices out of all proportion to reality?

Can't see why anyone would trust them.

Thats exactly what the incumbent government would like you to think. Dont drink the kool aid

The Auckland City Council represent their voters unaha-closp. the voters are the ratepayers and they don't want to pay for the infrastructure for all the immigrants and hey what a surprise the immigrants don't want to pay for it either. It is the government letting in all these people, not Auckland City Council.
Stop blaming the council for government policy.!

from a financial point this is like the titanic heading full speed at the iceberg whilst the lower class are waving and screaming at the front of the boat
every extra dollar going on rents and mortgages is one less dollar spent in the consumer economy, most of that dollar is funneled into interest payments and sent offshore
companies have to keep costs down to maintain market or else risk going out of business as shoppers look for the cheapest goods to make what they have left over after housing costs go further, and labour is normally businesses biggest cost.
it a cycle of deflation and if you curb house price growth, and lower income workforce growth you can turn it around.
will this government do that, in my mind no, that would be admitting 8 years of policy settings are wrong

Chickens are coming home to Roost .....

National ignored the housing crisis for the last 8 years and failed miserably to really tackle the investor and non citizen demand in a meaningful way and this is what you are left with.

The problem is people are feeling the strain in a low-interest rate environment. Imagine the strain once rates gradually increase.

Madness allowing this to get so out of control
- covering up the non-citizen purchasing (when will LINZ tell us May 2017 ... incredible)
- failing to bring in Debt to Income limits (not sure why a change in PM means this no longer needs to be considered)
- Failing to bring in a Vancouver Tax for investors and non citizens
- Failing to classify non-citizen students and temp workers as foreign buyers (unlike Canada, Singapore & Australia)

Failures all around.....

"If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing".Margaret Thatcher

Our ex PM was extremely liked.

The problem is that wages have not even doubled over the last 30 years. Add to this a wave of immigrants who are prepared to work for minimum wage and as recently exposed in the media, even less. Its easy to say "Get another Job" but essentially you get trapped due to other commitments and no money left over to pay the bills let alone retrain for a better paying job. Things have got significantly better over the years for those at the top, thats because they are in control of who gets paid what and they hold onto the profits and pay themselves whatever they want.

Wages are only a struggle because of stupid house price/rent. I agree one or the other needs a big change. So which is more likely…

Doubling wages would require a doubling of charges to customers which would most likely end in no customers/jobs, or, massive hyperinflation on everything except house prices, which would require separate NEW controls. This would affect every good, service, and kill exports, and impact everyone in NZ negatively as the transition occurred.

A return to normal house price/income rations could be achieved by a) shooting the tax favoritism, b) bringing DTi ratios in, and c) slowing immigration, and D) introducing more restrictions on offshore buyers. This really only would affect speculators and the Aussie owned banks.

I one option would kill NZ and one is way easier to achieve. See below for lead indicators of which option the Govt thinks really the only option.
• Restrictions on overseas owners (steps taken, and more being discussed)
• Slowing immigration (press recently featured education/immigration scam – can’t see this keeping up for much longer - que Winston)
• DTI ratios being openly requested by reserve bank (delayed in macro prudential toolkit till next year by Prime Minister change)

It's not offshore buyers its non citizen buyers . Ie foreign buyers

Foreign students and foreign temp workers are both foreign buyerstudents and make up a good portion of buyers.

Australia Singapore and Canada classify non citizens as foreign buyers irrespective if they live as residents or not.