The idea is that, like with being on a benefit, you don't stay there for long.
You move upwards as you learn and are worth more.
Now some choose (or in a very few cases- don't because of their minimal abilities) to stay in these jobs. Why- who really knows, but I would guess because they are unwilling to take on any responsibility or to try and extend themselves. Unlike the poor sod who collects the supermarket trolleys- I have FAR more respect for him- he's doing the best he can!
OK- fine- you want to spend XX years in a scut job and are there because you are slightly cheaper than a machine. Don't bother crying when the job is no longer economic or the machine becomes cheaper. To be blunt- you are not worth much- the job you were doing was probably barely economic.
In the linked example, you are losing your job because of the greenie push to get everyone away from supermarket bags. A loss of ten percent of the market and its game over for you.
Now its off to McD's or shelf-stacking at the Red Shed. It would be a lot worse if you lost a skilled job and had to go back and climb the ladder again. But you never got on it.
And as for the hand-wringer that said:
Porirua Deputy Mayor Litea Ah Hoi said she would help to fast-track the men into benefits under a joint council and Social Development Ministry scheme.
"...The company had "taken 16 years of Aki's life ... To be offering $1000 for 16 years of service is absolutely disgusting..."
What a load of arse!- this person was paid for their work and choose to stay with this company. That's called a voluntary contract, agreed to by both parties. The council toadie should find real work. There must be some streets around needing sweeping...
Not that it has any great bearing on the case, but out of interest:
Actually this is the minimum wage:
"The minimum wage for employees aged 16 years and over rose to $12 an hour before tax on 1 April 2008, except for new entrants and employees subject to the minimum training wage. That’s $96 for an eight hour day, or $480 for a 40 hour week."