‘It adds up pretty quickly’

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - SI­MON SMITH

Liv­ing wage cam­paign­ers are turn­ing their sights on West Auck­land’s al­co­hol li­cens­ing trusts.

Pay­ing em­ploy­ees at least $20.20 an hour would align with The Trusts’ val­ues, Liv­ing Wage Auck­land chair­woman Yvette Tay­lor said.

The Trusts chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Wick­ham said a de­ci­sion to not pay the liv­ing wage was made by elected mem­bers, the com­pany board and its man­age­ment team.

‘‘We’ve de­cided that at this time, it’s not best for The Trusts.’’

It had to bal­ance the needs of its em­ploy­ees against the needs of the com­mu­nity – and its abil­ity to make a profit, he said.

‘‘Be­cause with­out that, giv­ing back isn’t pos­si­ble.’’

Wick­ham said The Trusts paid its 350 em­ploy­ees fair mar­ket rates, gave per­for­mance-re­lated pay rises and of­fered train­ing and pro­mo­tion. A few peo­ple though, such as dish­wash­ers, started on the min­i­mum wage of $15.75, he said. But lift­ing the wages of those on the bot­tom would mean lift­ing wages of every­body in the or­gan­i­sa­tion, he said.

‘‘It adds up pretty quickly.’’ There were 11 em­ploy­ers in West Auck­land who were ac­cred­ited as pay­ing the liv­ing wage, ac­cord­ing to Liv­ing Wage Auck­land.

Tay­lor said that as one of the largest em­ploy­ers in West Auck­land, The Trusts could be lead­ers in pay rates.

The Liv­ing Wage rate is vol­un­tary and has been cal­cu­lated to be $20.20 per hour, $4.45 more than the min­i­mum wage.

‘‘We've de­cided that at this time, it's not best for The

Trusts.’’

ROSE REES-OWEN/STUFF

Si­mon Wick­ham – chief ex­ec­u­tive of The Trusts busi­ness.

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