The ACTU has today called for a pay rise of $28 a week for more than a million award workers to reverse the slide in living standards that Australia’s working families are experiencing under the new IR laws.
Releasing its submission to the 2007 minimum wage review by the Federal Government’s new Fair Pay Commission today, ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said:

“The living standards of more than a million award workers have gone backwards under the new IR laws.
The wage decision by the ‘Fair Pay Commission’ on 1 December last year (2006) left the average award worker -0.9% worse off in real terms.
The ACTU is seeking a $28 per week increase – up to 5% – for workers reliant on minimum wages to reverse this slide.
Research presented to the ‘Fair Pay Commission’ in the ACTU submission shows that:

  • Company profits are at an all time high in Australia and big business can afford to give hard working low paid Australians a decent pay rise.
  • There is no evidence that a real increase in minimum wages will have a negative economic impact.
    This claim will ensure that minimum wage workers do not fall further behind the rest of the workforce and is moderate considering the current rate of inflation
  • Minimum wage workers are disproportionately found in low income households and receive 58 per cent less than the rest of the workforce.
  • Minimum wage workers are more likely to be women and employed on a casual basis, with many working in the retail, hospitality and health care industries.
  • More than one million hard working low paid working families are demonstrably worse off as a result of the changes to the way minimum wages are set under the new IR laws.
  • We are hopeful that the Fair Pay Commission will acknowledge that the living standards of award workers have gone backwards under the Federal Government’s new IR laws and will do something about it,” said Mr Combet.