Unite Union has delivered a sharp rebuke over the wages paid to staff cleaning New Zealand's MIQ hotels in an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Hotel cleaners on the Covid frontline are currently being paid the minimum wage of $18.90 per hour, this despite a Government commitment to ensure security staff are paid a living wage of $22.10.
"Happy International Womens Day.
"Ninety per cent of the hotel workers that Unite Union represents are women.
"Hundreds are currently working in Managed Isolation facilities.
"They are carrying the safety of a nation on their shoulders every single day.
"They are struggling with high workloads and low pay.
"The vast majority do not, and will never own a home.
"The vast majority can not, and will never get 'ahead' unless we do something about it.
"The theme of this years International Womens day is 'choose to challenge', this year we should choose to challenge the status quo.
"These workers are so brave, can we match their bravery?
"The Government has shown that it can raise workers to a living wage. It has done so for other workers such as security staff at MIQ facilities. Why has it not done so for these hotel workers?
"Our workers, their daughters and grand-daughters deserve to grow up in a world where women, and the work women do, is seen, is valued, and is remunerated fairly."
Unite Union national secretary John Crocker previously told the Herald that hotel workers "have fallen through the cracks".
"The Government has proudly announced it is paying all contracted cleaners, security and caterers the living wage, but at this stage this does not include hotel staff."
Crocker explains that the reason security guards at MIQ facilities are already on a living wage is because they fall into the Government contractor category.
"The MIQ Hotel workers are not contracted cleaners, they are hotel workers and some are housekeepers," Crocker said.
This ultimately means that many of the cleaners currently doing the high-risk work of cleaning the hotels are currently being paid a minimum wage of $18.90 an hour.
A spokesperson from MIQ told the Herald that at least two hotel providers have indicated to the Government that they either have or intend to pay their employees the living wage, following discussions between the two parties.