United Voice, one of Australia’s biggest unions, has urged the Fair Work Commission to look at a new approach to improve wages for Australia’s low paid workers.
Jo-anne Schofield, National Secretary of United Voice says “We are at a critical point in Australia. For the first time since Federation, Australia has a generation of working poor.
“The $15.80 per week increase announced today – just 41 cents per hour - will provide little relief for low paid workers caught in the trap of rising inequality in our nation.
“United Voice notes the Commission’s statement that some low paid workers are living below the poverty line and the over-representation of women amongst the low paid. The decision notes that earnings inequality has increased in Australia, with more highly paid workers achieving higher growth in pay over past decades.
“The time has come to address rising inequality.
“For the past 20 years the minimum wage has steadily and consistently pulled away from average weekly earnings.
“This trajectory has brought us to a crisis. This cannot and must not continue,” says Jo-anne Schofield.
United Voice welcomes the Commission’s comments in its decision that a preliminary hearing into this matter proposed by United Voice is intended to form part of the 2016–17 Minimum Wage Review.
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