There are now 2.3 million workers who are dependent on the Annual Wage Review for an increase to their wages. That is 2.3 million workers who currently are paid the lowest that they can lawfully be paid. These low paid workers are more likely to women, more likely to be in insecure work and more likely to work in the services sectors which are supposedly the key to Australia’s economic future.

These workers are doing it tough, and are not getting their fair share of the nation’s economic prosperity. Today wages make headlines because an economically conservative Treasurer has declared record low wage growth to be the biggest challenge facing the Australian economy. The developing trends we have seen are now reaching a critical point where significant and decisive action as required.

The ACTU is calling for an increase to the National Minimum Wage for full-time adults of$45 per week, to $717.70 per week or $18.89 per hour.