To this Letters Main Page

Last Diary

Next Diary

To this Letters Features

To the Index







    Letter No.113
    6 December, 1999

    16 November 1999

    The gender pay gap remains unchanged from last year according to a new study published by the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust. The study reveals women receive at least 20% less pay than men regardless of age, qualifications, experience or ethnicity.

    The EEO Trust study also finds that Sri Lankan immigrants are discriminated against when seeking work. It says that although Sri Lankans are fluent in English and very high percentages of them have tertiary qualifications and professional experience, most take up jobs below their previous level and most experience discrimination while job seeking.

    17 November 1999

    The Reserve Bank is predicting a strengthening economy over the next two years because of increased demand from the US and Australia for our exports. The bank also predicts 6.9% unemployment next year and 6.4% in 2001.

    Substantially more NZ prison inmates re-offend than do inmates in Australia, England or Canada. Corrections manager Roger Waite says there is evidence that longer sentences are actually associated with higher re-offending rates. He argues that well-structured rehabilitation programmes would reduce the re-offending rates significantly.

    Winz gets top marks from the Aotearoa Polytechnics Student Union. President John Barkness says the union is very pleased with what it has heard so far about this year's enrolment procedures for student community wage applications.

    After a NZ Herald front page feature alleging a clothing manufacturing `sweatshop' in Auckland, Labour Department factory inspectors are swamped with calls reporting suspected illegal workplaces. National Distribution Union's Judy Attenberger says that her union is considering a campaign to discourage retailers from buying products made by underpaid workers.

    All 35 cleaning staff at Auckland's Hyatt Regency hotel are told they are redundant and that cleaning of the hotel has been contracted out.

    Student Job Search in Auckland has 3,700 jobs on its books, up 20% on last year. The Auckland office has 7,000 students signed up looking for work.

    18 November 1999

    A sickness beneficiary smashes up the Winz office in Orewa. No staff are injured as the man, who is said to have wanted his benefit increased, took a wooden club to six store front office windows, a computer and a sign.

    Alliance leader Jim Anderton says no one under 20 years old would be on the dole under an Alliance government. He says that everyone under 20 would have access to free education or training.

    19 November 1999

    Wages rose 1.3% during the last quarter.

    Jim Anderton proposes an amnesty on IRD penalties for students with debts and who have gone overseas. Anderton wants to encourage these people to "come home and share in the rebuilding of the country."

    21 November 1999

    The toll-free telephone enquiries for the Australian finance company GE Capital will soon be answered in New Delhi. Indian workers in the call centre are being given Anglo names and are being trained to speak with an Australian accent. Shifting the call centre to India is part of the company's plan to eliminate 140 jobs in Sydney.

    22 November 1999

    Pay increases for chief executives in NZ averaged 5.6% last year according to PA Consulting Group's salary survey.

    Winz has paid a senior executive $106,000 in order to obtain his resignation.

    All of Pacifica Shipping's 240 staff are taking 20% wage cuts as well as reductions in conditions and entitlements. The company says that protective legislation for coastal shipping had disappeared and it is necessary for it to cut costs in order to compete with international companies working NZ waters.

    23 November 1999

    Winz's national commissioner Ray Smith admits that the department spent nearly eight times the amount on personal grievance claims than it had originally said. Last month Winz released papers saying it had paid out $41,000 in claims in its first year. Smith now says it paid out $326,500.

    A pre-Seattle WTO meeting of trade ministers is postponed. Spokesperson Keith Rockwell says the reason is that the WTO members have not been able to find a concensus on agricultural subsidies.

    24 November 1999

    Police arrested a Winz customer who allegedly threw around furniture at the Upper Hutt Winz office. One staff member required medical treatment.

    ERG Connect makes 68 workers redundant. The loss comes after the cable laying company finishes its immediate contracts.

    26 November 1999

    December 23rd will be the last day of work for 171 staff at Adventist Hospital in St Heliers. The trustees have told staff that new competition for ACC elective surgery contracts and other financial reasons have contributed to their decision to sell the not-for-profit hospital. The facility will be turned into an elderly care resthome.

    Recruitment company Lampen's survey of companies with employment vacancies shows that the most difficult jobs to fill are in information technology. It also says firms have difficulty filling positions in accounts, accounting and sales.

    On the eve of the polls, Treaty Negotiations Minister Doug Graham signs a controversial $34m settlement with Taranaki's Te Atiawa iwi.

    27 November 1999

    Election Day.

    New Zealand elects a centre-left coalition government led by the Labour Party.

    28 November 1999

    PM-elect Helen Clark meets deputy PM-elect Jim Anderton in Auckland. Clark says parliament will meet right up until Christmas Eve in order to pass new tax legislation, review the minimum wage law, ban political party hopping and ease student loan interest.

    30 November 1999

    Violence and riots erupt in Seattle as tens of thousands of people take over the central city in protest at the trade talks being held by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In scenes reminiscent of the US civil rights and anti-war protests of the 1960s, police in full riot gear use tear gas and fire rubber pellets to clear the protestors. Seattle mayor Paul Schell declares a civil emergency and imposes a 7pm-dawn curfew on the downtown area.

    2 December 1999

    PM-elect Helen Clark says her government will push for the World Trade Organisation to include employment and environmental issues on its agenda, and she expects this position to be represented in the current round of talks.

    To the Top
    Top of Page
    This Letter's Main Page
    Stats | Subscribe | Index |
    The Jobs Letter Home Page | The Website Home Page
    The Jobs Research Trust -- a not-for-profit Charitable Trust
    constituted in 1994
    We publish The Jobs Letter