Promises, promises: with Laila Harre, it’s deja vu all over again

Internet Party Leader

Internet Party Leader

Harr? co-owns an Auckland restaurant, O’Sarracino, which is working towards paying a living wage to its staff.[17]


Two years ago a newspaper reported…


Ms Harre’s restaurant, O’Sarracino in Mt Eden Rd, hosted the announcement of the accreditation system yesterday but still pays two employees below $18.40. Another director of the business, Maurizio Piglia, said those two would be paid the new $18.80 rate by June or July “if the business environment supports us”.

-A newspaper


Former Internet Party leader Laila Harre has promised to lift staff wages at her Auckland seafood restaurant to almost $20 an hour – matching the new “living wage” rate unveiled today.

…Laila Harre… owns and manages the Ika Seafood Bar and Grill in Mt Eden Rd, which became Auckland’s first living-wage restaurant this month.

She said most of her six part-time waiting and kitchen hand staff earned $16 to $17.50 until this month.

-A newspaper

Eat up comrades, to fund Laila’s promise. She said the business environment has to support the restaurant before she can afford the increase, which is a very heartless, capitalist ?way of looking at things. ?Surely this is about the worker, not the profit-driven capitalist business owner? ?She should be paying them a living wage regardless of whether the business is making money, and not just when she feels she can afford it.

We all know what will happen if this is enforced across the board rather than implemented voluntarily. It will put businesses out of business. When the Labour government demanded a minimum wage be paid to intellectually disabled workers it resulted in all of them losing their jobs. They needed extra help in order to be able to work and, by demanding that they be paid as though they were working on their own without assistance, they were priced out of the market.

The living wage is the same kind of ideological nonsense. It sounds really good but in reality it hurts the very people it is supposed to help.