Americanised working poor not the WA way

UnionsWA has today commented on hearings by the WA Industrial Relations Commission in the State Wage Case, which will determine wages for around one hundred thousand working West Australians on the WA Minimum Wage and reliant awards as well as the decision in the Federal Minimum Wage Case that awarded a 2.5% increase.

Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:

“The minimum wage is our protection against an Americanisation of working poor, where wages cannot meet essential costs.

“The minimum wage is particularly important in WA with our high costs of living.

“However the WA Government has recommended that the minimum wage rise by less than inflation at the same time that it has increased essential costs for electricity and water by well above inflation.

“Disgracefully, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA have proposed a wage freeze for the lowest paid West Australians.

“Significantly, in the today’s disappointing Federal Minimum Wage Case, the Fair Work Commission awarded a 2.5% increase, above what WA Government or employers have asked for in the State Case.

“Pay cuts for low income workers are not only unfair and they are also a losing economic policy.

“Low paid people spend their income locally and provide an important stimulus to our economy, particularly important in WA as the resources sector struggles.

“The WA Government is seeking an increase of only 2%, while in its recent Budget increased essential costs of living for water and electricity by 4.5%.

“UnionsWA has called for the Commission to increase minimum wages and reliant awards by either $30 pw for full time workers or 3.9%.”

Further information:

All submissions to the State Wage Case are available here.

 


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