On the eve of the quarterly wages growth figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the peak body for working people has made its final arguments to the Fair Work Commission for a substantial pay rise for 2.3 million low-wage and award-dependent workers around the country.
The ACTU has asked for a $50 a week pay rise for people on the minimum wage – a rise of 7.2 percent. This would bring the minimum wage towards the peak body’s target of a living wage that is 60 percent of the median wage.
Today’s wage price index announcement is expected to continue the trend of near-record low wages growth.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Australia needs a pay rise. Corporations are making record profits while the rest of us continue to struggle. Penalty rates are being cut and people aren’t getting the pay rises they need to keep up with basic living expenses like housing, power and childcare.
“When working people – especially people on low incomes – get a pay rise, they spend it. This is good for everyone. It means more customers for local businesses, which means more jobs for the people they hire to keep up with that demand.
“The behaviour of the big business lobby – who have called for either pay freezes or pay cuts for low-paid workers – shows that bosses won’t give pay rises unless they have to.
“It’s time for us to build the power that forces fair pay rises, and to demand that the Turnbull Government uses its power to force a substantial rise to the minimum wage.”
“We will continue to campaign for a living wage whatever the outcome of this current wage review.”