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News News Unions will fight employer push for pay freeze
UnionsWA has today commented on the recent release by the WA Industrial Relations Commission of submissions to the WA State Wage case. The case determines wages for more than 100,000 working West Australians ,  through the Minimum Wage which applies to an estimated 20,000 unincorporated employing small businesses as well as employees covered by WA State Awards, many of which are low-waged.

Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:

“There are some pretty bad and ugly submissions to the WA Wage Case.

“Unbelievably, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and the Australian Hotels Association (WA) have proposed a wage freeze for the poorest paid in WA.

“The Mannkal Economic Education Foundation has questioned whether or not there should be a minimum wage at all.

“Unions will fight this.  It is just not possible to live with any decency on a low wage that frozen in time.

“Over the past ten years the median unit rent in WA has gone from costing 30% of the weekly minimum wage to now consuming two-thirds.

“Increases in the minimum wage have not kept pace with WA’s high essential costs of living.  WA already has the biggest gap between rich and poor of any State or Territory in Australia.”

Professor Rowena Barrett, small firm researcher and Head of the School of Management at Edith Cowan University, has made a witness statement based on research on the impact on small businesses of Minimum Wages.

“The evidence submitted by Professor Barrett highlights that even very small businesses can adapt to pay rises, that the minimum wage doesn't lead to fewer jobs but does contribute towards greater income equality, in particular closing the gender wage gap.”

Sources
Submissions to the WA State Wage case are now publicly available at http://www.wairc.wa.gov.au/WageCase/SWC2013/

Meredith Hammat is available for comment.

 
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