Tuesday, March 26, 2013

$30 Minimum Wage Increase

You read that right.  In Australia, the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) wants a $30 increase in the minimum wage.  From ABC News:
The Australian Council of Trade Unions is pushing for a $30 a week increase to the minimum wage.

The union will ask the Fair Work Commission to grant the increase to 1.5 million low paid workers.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver says the government has created the economic conditions to make a significant increase affordable.

"We've been concerned for some time that there has been a significant gap emerging between the minimum pay and what the real average weekly earnings are," he said.

"So the claim that we're seeking today will lift the rate from $606 to $636 - but that is still less than what average wage weekly earnings are for the rest of society."
Of course with any talk of a minimum wage increase comes the usual talking points from big business...wait for it:
But Innes Willox from the Australian Industry Group says the wage increase would destroy jobs.

Employers are expected to back a smaller wage rise.

"We all have sympathy for low paid workers, let's make that very clear, but wage increases have to be affordable and workable for the broader economy as well, and they need to be wage increases that allow jobs to be created not jobs to be destroyed," Mr Willox said.

"Unfortunately this claim falls into the latter category.

"It would make it very difficult, nigh on impossible for some employers, particularly those in small businesses or in regional areas to afford to keep staff or engage new staff."
At a Senate Committee hearing recently, there was push back just to raise the minimum wage in the U.S. to $10.10.  And we're the greatest country on Earth?

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