||Issue No. 290||18 November 2005|
The Long March
Interview: Public Defender
Legal: Craig's Story
Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
Politics: Queue Jumping
History: Iron Heel
Economics: Waging War
International: Under Pressure
Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
Review: A Pertinent Proposition
The Locker Room
What lucky country
Swimming with Sharks
Save Our Culture
Restaurateurs Do a Runner
The Restaurant and Catering Australia submission into the reforms says real wages, in the sector, must be held down.
The peak body endorsed federal government and Business Council claims that people on the minimum wage earned too much.
John Hart told Senators his organisation employed a substantial number of minimum wage Australians and had been "great disadvantaged" by increases determined by the AIRC.
"We're hoping for a lesser increase for our industry," Hart said
Restaurateurs welcomed the ability to "eliminate" penalty rates and the opportunity to "negotiate sensible conditions."
But they slammed the government's 38-hour working week as "unnecessarily restrictive", and claimed annual leave, parent and carers leave minimums were over restrictive..
In other submissions, the Business Council of Australia backed the federal government's move to eliminate employee representation in determining the minimum wage.
"Minimum wages should be determined by a body comprised of people with sufficient expertise and appreciation of the employment market and factors influencing people's employment prospects to guide the determination of minimum wage increases," the submission said.
The Howard Government's hand-picked Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Pru Goward, also criticised the proposals.
She predicted they would bring about the end of paid maternity leave.
"If they don't have that capacity at the enterprise level to negotiate paid maternity leave for example, then we are really talking about all women then being back to square one," she said.
On questioning if the bill was fair, Goward replied: "I've met a lot of people who say a job is better than no job, even if it's not fair and I guess that's what this whole bill is about."
Public hearings to the inquiry concluded on Friday. It will report to the Senate on Tuesday.
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