Real wage growth for Australian workers remains near an all-time record low at 0.5%, according to Wage Price Index statistics released by the ABS this morning.
These figures indicate that it our current rules make it far too difficult for working people to negotiate fair pay rises that stay ahead of living costs.
Annualised wage growth is 2.3 percent, barely above inflation, and well behind the rapidly increasing costs of essential consumer items like housing, healthcare and transport.
The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government has watched the wage growth crisis evolve under its watch, not only not acting to help Australian workers, but slashing penalty rates, opposing increases to the minimum wage, imposing public sector wage caps and siding with employers to entrench insecure work.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Wage growth staying at near-record lows for years isn’t normal. The system is breaking down, and the Morrison Government is doing nothing to address this crisis for working people.
“Workers have been told by Scott Morrison to wait for wage rises to trickle down. This won’t work, it has never worked. Our Government needs to take action to rebalance the power between workers and employers. Big business has far too much power and only action by our Government to improve the rights of workers will fix it.
“We need to lift the minimum wage, reduce the number of insecure jobs, stop wage theft and upgrade workers’ rights when bargaining in order to see fair pay rises.
“This is the reality of life for Australian workers. Wages falling behind the cost of essential items like transport and healthcare, while the Finance Minister is so comfortable he doesn’t even think about who pays for his holidays. The Morrison Government could hardly be more out of touch.”