Australia trade union urges for hike in minimum wage
Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus called for the increase, saying the hike was the only way workers “could keep their heads above water”. “I am worried about people being paid less and cutting back on the basics,” she said.
The ACTU had initially called for a 5% increase to the minimum wage. Australia’s national minimum wage is currently A$772.60 (US$540.16) per week for a 38-hour week, or A$20.33 (US$14.21) per hour.
McManus said the hike was needed to ensure workers earning the minimum wage had enough cash flow to cover basic living expenses.
“One in four workers are affected by (minimum wage). We need everyone to get behind wages growth, not just the union movement, not us fighting by ourselves. Low paid workers spend everything that they have got and if they have less to spend, which they do at the moment,” she said.
The ACTU’S proposed minimum wage would be A$21.45 (US$15.00) and its change would impact more than two million low-income Australians whose wages are linked to industry award, according to The West Australian.