Thursday, February 23, 2017

ACTU – Record low wage growth a scourge on working Australians’ futures

22 February 2017

Record low wage growth confirms the Turnbull Government is wedded to the fortunes of big corporations not the livelihoods of working Australians.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed the wage price index increased 1.9% for the year to December 2016, the lowest on record.

While real wages have stagnated for many years, corporations have pocketed soaring profits rather than reinvest in their staff.

As a result, we have seen record low wage growth and productivity growth has not been passed on to the workers who generate it.

The average wait for a pay rise has now almost doubled from 12 months to 21 months in just four years.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

  • “Australia’s record low wage growth hurts workers, their families and the economy.”
  • “We have lost our reputation as a fair go society as income inequality has increased and living standards have slipped for too many.”
  • “Even Treasury and the Reserve Bank have stated that low wage growth is a significant brake on economic prosperity.”
  • “While Australian Unions are unrelenting in our efforts to increase pay, the Government bears ultimate responsibility here.”
  • “Inaction on business, overuse of casualisation and short-term contracting, abuse of the labour hire system and the exploitation of migrant workers which place downward pressure on workers' wages cannot be allowed to continue.”
  • “The latest ABS data comes a day before the FWC hands down its decision on whether or not to cut penalty rates, which the Turnbull Government has failed to protect at a time when workers need them most.”
  • “In fact, the Turnbull Government never made a submission to the Commission in favour of a pay rise for a single worker; it has refused to intervene to protect penalty rates, it is trying to make it impossible for unions to represent their members, and it is protecting loopholes in the Fair Work Act that allow corporations to trash wages and conditions.”
  • “Low wage growth is one of the most important issues for many Australian workers, and the Government must to do something about it.”

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