October 10, 2013
Harawira stands up for cleaners
Mana leader Hone Harawira is backing the call by parliament’s cleaners for more pay and better working conditions.
National List MP Tau Henare said if a cleaner who made submissions to a select committee didn’t want her job, she should give it to somebody who did.
Mr Henare, a former union official, later apologised.
Mr Harawira says MPs need to do more for those at the bottom.
"It’s just downright embarrassing what the cleaners in particular are paid at parliament. I see them coming on duty, they’re humble people, they’re hardworking people. People putting in those kinds of hours, they have to hold down two or three jobs just to make enough money to pay what it costs to survive these days. They’re all good people, mostly women, mostly Pacific Islanders and a couple of Maori," he says.
Mr Harawira says Labour leader David Cunliffe’s promise to the Council of Trade Unions conference to ensure all government staff earn at least the living wage needs to be extended to staff of contractors working for state agencies.
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