Cue Tourism Business, a bi-monthly dead-tree publication that often cut-and-paste shrill, left-wing slogans that are far removed from the realities of running a tourism business. I generally devote some time to flick through the contents, however this month's magazine was binned earlier than usual after the following tirade leaped from the inside-page editorial:
"A living Wage
Just as this magazine was heading to press a group of community and faith-based organisations and unions launched The Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign, to promote the goal of achieving a living wage as a necessary step in reducing inequality and poverty in New Zealand.Not surprisingly, Mana, the unions, Labour and Greens would tend to enthusiastically agree with this sort of tosh out of misguided ignorance.
The group says that more and more New Zealanders don't get paid enough to meet their needs, enjoy their lives and participate in society.
The campaign's website describes a living wage as "the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities in life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society".
They are calling upon the government, employers and society as a whole "to strive for a living wage for all households as a necessary and important step in the reduction of poverty in New Zealand".
A report in the NZ Herald says that the living wage rate of $18.40 an hour, has been calculated by researchers at the Anglican Church's Family Centre.
And the truth be told parts of the tourism industry are amongst the lower payers across employment groups.
As a small business owner I am very aware of the pressures on any employer to ensure their business is sustainable. But it seems to me this campaign is very well worthwhile and something that the tourism sector as a whole could get behind and even promote to international visitors as something that tourism businesses are doing for the greater good...."
Disappointingly the editorial also seems to be parroting the sentiments of the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) that claim to be the voice of over 1,500 businesses.
We are predicting a new licensing regime that offers a badge to "responsible" businesses sucked into this propaganda so they may smugly display to the world that they are a feel-good social adjunct.
Tourism businesses operating in the real world that need to improve productivity, lower compliance costs and increase quality levels need to be better served than this...