WEST FEST FOR A LIVING WAGE

1 May

The Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand Movement and West Auckland communities are hosting a free, fun family event called WEST FEST on Saturday 3 May from 10am – 3pm at the Corban Estate, Henderson.

The WEST FEST event is intended to give families in West Auckland, whose activities are restricted by low incomes, an opportunity to enjoy a day out with their friends, family and community to relax and enjoy free food, entertainment, music, games, activities, prizes and giveaways and a lot of fun, especially for children.

It will also be an opportunity for people to find out about the Living Wage, discuss their needs as west communities, connect to local organisations that are supporting their communities and get access to information about the services they offer. As well as spending time together and strengthening the relationships that make our communities vibrant and sustainable.

A number of local businesses and organisations who are Living Wage employers are supporting the WEST FEST event. One of these is Waitakere Union Health Centre. Spokesperson Siobhan Trevallyan says that Waitakere Union Health Centre is supporting the event because “the Living Wage Movement actively addresses inequality by providing workers with an income that enables them and their families to lead healthy, happy lives within our communities”.

The Living Wage has been independently calculated at $18.80 per hour and represents the amount that workers need in order to survive and participate in society. Many cities around the world, including London and 30% of UK councils have adopted the Living Wage. Council adoption in these cities has led the way to many businesses also stepping up to pay the Living Wage and enhance the overall economy.

Low paid worker Meaalofa Meke says that “working for low wages affected our whole family, but that all changed when my employer TONZU became a Living Wage employer and my hourly rate increased from $15 an hour to $18.80 an hour”. TONZU’s business is expanding, so her hours have also been increased from 32 to 42 hours a week. This has enabled Meaalofa to pay for all her four children’s school stationery, buy healthy food for the family and even save some money to invest in her children’s education.

Fala Haulangi from the Service and Food Workers Union says the impact of the Living Wage is huge. "People want to live, not just exist. Having to do two low paid jobs just to feed your family means that you can’t enjoy a social life or get involved in community activities, you just don’t have the time and energy. Earning a living wage puts more spending power back into the local economy, which benefits everyone."

ENDS

Contact:

Fala Haulangi 0272 046332

Diana Yukich 021 0232 6849 / 021 142 8287

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