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News Media Releases Low paid winners under federal wage decision
Low paid winners under federal wage decision
Thursday, 03 June 2010 13:44

03 June 2010

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.

“It is estimated that there are 38,500 West Australians who work full-time but only earn between $500 and $600 a week, “ UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said. “These people and their families will welcome this increase as they try to keep up with rising energy and housing prices.”

This increase offers practical assistance for thousands of working West Australians and their families. 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.

In WA utilities alone have risen by 20% in the last twelve months [19.9% to march 2010], and the cost of housing is also increasing as a result of successive interest rate rises.

“Today’s decision also referred to increased productivity and that profits are on the rise at the expense of average earnings. People deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and should be able to make ends meet if they are working fulltime.  The wage rise by Fair Work Australia goes some way to achieving this,” Simone McGurk said.


For comment, please contact Simone McGurk 0407 199 890   UnionsWA 08 9328 7877

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