The attacks on working people by Australia’s Employment Minister Michaelia Cash are leaving a negative impact on a majority of workers. A new poll by Essential Research shows that 52% of people say that they have not had a pay rise in the last year, while Fairfax papers today are reporting that average weekly earnings have only increased an average of $3 per year for 9 years.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has built a career attacking workers, and most recently it was disclosed that she has serious questions to answer about how she dealt with revelations that a senior public servant deliberately misrepresented the law in order to facilitate the Government’s political agenda.
The legacy of her time in office will be record-low wage growth, massively increasing underemployment, systemic underpayment and wage theft, cuts to penalty rates, repeated refusals to support an increase to the minimum wage and a campaign against leave for people experiencing domestic violence, which has also marred her record as the Minister for Women.
The revelations in the last week that she facilitated the appointment of Nigel Hadgkiss as head of the Australian Building and Construction Commission despite knowing that he was under investigation for breaking the law accomplishes the impressive task of standing out in a record of incompetence and pathological opposition to working people and unions.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:
“Under the tenure of Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, working people in Australia are suffering — 43% say they are barely able to pay their household bills, and 20% say they are under financial pressure. More than half of working people report not having a pay increase in the last 12 months.”
“The reports today, which indicate that the allegations against Mr Hagdkiss were common knowledge within the Turnbull Government, should be clear cause for an immediate investigation and Minister Cash’s resignation.”
“Inequality will be her legacy. Minister Cash has failed working people again and again. She has actively undermined their rights, slashed their pay, and let loose ideologues who she knew would be willing to go outside the law to attack their unions.”
“The Minister has built her career on attacking working people, and that is how she will be remembered. A Minister for Employment who oversaw a period of relentless attacks on working people, record low wage growth, cuts to pay, wage theft, cancellation of agreements and countless other forms of exploitation and suppression which have been encouraged by her leadership.”