|Issue No 22||16 July 1999|
Letters to the Editor
Youth Wages Campaign a Must for the Union Movement
When we are fighting the second wave, we must highlight how bad youth wages are.
You can accuse me of self-interest because I'm up for a pay cut (if the amendments go through), but I 'm turning 21 on Monday 19th so I say this not just to defend my own pay packet.
Why should it be a priority when there are so many other nasty elements in the legislation?
Because it is the only part of the bill which openly enshrines a pay cut.
WE all know that the amendments will strip back wages and conditions, but Reith can dispute that with his half-truths.
However, he cannot stand up and say that young people will get "More pay, better jobs" (as he creatively entitles the bills) out of this legislation. We are obviously getting less pay, there's no way he can dress it up as 'choice' or 'flexibilty', its just a wage cut based on nothing other than discrimination.
But we can quite clearly say to our members, potential members and the general community that Reith wants to actively slash the wages of people currently earning adult rates of pay. And keep others promised a pay rise on lower wages.
Fighting youth wages shows a committment to wages and conditions, where complex arguments over (for example) the right of entry (while extremely important) are less directly associated with the hip pocket of the future fighters for the labor movement.
To help this along, I am producing a leaflet entitled "Want a pay cut? If you're under 21, you're getting one anyway." But I need graphics for it so if anyone can do a suitable cartoon, that'd be great.
To assist or to get copies email mailto:email@example.com or call me on 0412 022 171.
Luke Whitington, President, 71st Students' Representative Council, Sydney Uni, LHMU member 1997-9
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005