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News News Unions welcome increase in federal minimum wage

WA’s peak union body UnionsWA has welcomed a decision by Fair Work Australia to increase minimum wages by $26 a week.

The first decision from the new Fair Work Australia Minimum Wage Panel is particularly welcome after last year’s wage freeze, a decision made under the WorkChoices system.

The decision last year to give no increase was made in response to employer claims about the threat of unemployment posed by the GFC.   We know now that WA experienced very little of the global financial downturn yet WA minimum wage workers under federal laws have seen no wage increase for two years.

While having to deal with a wage freeze, WA workers have also been experiencing rising living costs with utilities alone rising by 20% in the last twelve months and interest rate rises pushing up housing costs.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said that the increase by the new Fair Work Australia panel offers practical assistance for thousands of working West Australians and their families. “This increase will be welcomed by low paid workers in WA. These are people trying to keep up with inflationary pressures brought about by the mining boom, but who get none of the high wage benefits. While it is a shame families on low incomes have had to wait so long for the increase we are pleased with the announcement today.”

Ms McGurk also acknowledges the fact that while the minimum wage was frozen last year, company profits increased significantly under John Howard’s Government. “In its decision Fair Work Australia has specifically recognised the massive increase in company profits under the period of the Howard Government at the expense of wages for working Australians and cites evidence that the productivity of employees has increased by up to 20%. This decision is recognition that award workers should be fairly rewarded for their hard work.”

Profits and wages shares of national income:

 
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  • SOS Action Plan

  • EmpowerWA

  • WAjobsfromwaresources

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  • shopritelg_2010

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