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  Issue No 78 Official Organ of LaborNet 17 November 2000  




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Big Bosses Bloat While Working Poor Grows

Workers are calling on the federal government to back the ACTU's Living Wage $28 claim in the wake of revelations that executive pay rates continue to skyrocket while more Australians fall into poverty.

ACTU President Sharn Burrow says that while the top-end-of-town are cleaning up, the ranks of the working poor in Australia are growing

Ms Burrow's comments follow the release of separate studies this week showing that while executive salaries continue to skyrocket, more and more Australian working families are falling into poverty.

A major study of CEO salaries published in this week's Australian Financial Review revealed that Australia's million dollar executives received an average pay increase of 68% last year.

Meanwhile a Smith Family study of poverty in Australia released yesterday, confirmed that the numbers of Australian working families living in poverty is growing. The study which was conducted by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling revealed that 42% of Australian families living in poverty have one or bothadults working.

"Australia is experiencing one of the longest periods of economic growth in its history but low-paid workers and their families are being left behind. Burrow says.

While the top-end-of-town are cleaning up, the ranks of the working poor in Australia

are growing

They need a decent pay rise just to make ends meet and the Federal Government should support the ACTU's $28 Living Wage Claim," said Ms Burrow.

The ACTU launched its Living Wage Claim 2001 earlier this month. The $28 a week claim would increase the Federal minimum wage from $400 a week to $428 and would benefit between 1.5 and 2 million low-paid workers who rely on increases in minimum award rates to maintain their living.

Living Wage Out of the Blocks

The LHMU this week lodged applications with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) for improved wages and allowances for hotel workers, child care workers, building service workers and laundry workers.

" Union organisers and delegates have started holding on-the-job meetings asking members to get actively involved in the case," Tim Ferrari, the LHMU Assistant National Secretary says.

" Members in all states are coming forward to volunteer witness statements which will play an important role in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission hearings (AIRC) to start early next year," Ferrari says..

" We want the views of members and activists to define how we should push the demands for improved pay at different workplaces."

The four applications lodged by the LHMU are for the Hospitality, Building Services, Victorian Laundries and the ACT Child Care Awards. Other unions will be lodging applications under their own Awards.


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 78 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Doubly Blessed
With that unforgettable name, Grace Grace is making her mark as the first female secretary of the Queensland trade union movement.
*  Unions: On The Line
Trade unions this week entered a landmark partnership with the call centre industry to improve the quality jobs in this growing sector.
*  History: Conspiracy or Class? The Whitlam Sacking
Never trust a man who wears a top hat and tails in Australia, in Summer. Neale Towart considers this and other evidence of conspiracy in the great shonky dismissal.
*  Legal: Return Of The Lock-out
Marian Baird reports on the increasing tendency of aggressive employers to use lock-outs to reduce wages and conditions and promote individual agreements.
*  Activists: Waterfront Hero Bows Out
John Coombs, the man the government compared to Ned Kelly - villain to the bosses, the big land owners and conservatives, folk hero to working Australians - bows out of the union movement next month.
*  International: Morocco Stonewalls In Western Sahara
Morocco has new king but its old game plan of defying world opinion over its occupation of the Western Sahara continues.
*  Review: The Identity-Shifting Pragmatist
If New Zealand should have an Australian as its first Labour Prime Minister, then it is only fitting that Australia should have as its first a man who spent much of his formative years across the ditch.
*  Satire: Hackers Infect Microsoft Computers With Mysterious Windows Virus
SEATTLE, Thursday: Shame-faced workers at Microsoft admitted today that hackers had succeeded in penetrating their network's defences and had installed a sophisticated virus on the Apple Macintosh machines used across the software giant's operations.

»  STOP PRESS: Global First - ILO Sanctions Against Burma
»  Big Bosses Bloat While Working Poor Grows
»  Union Puts Heat on Bastard Bank
»  Reith Fiddles As Workers Diddled In Shelf Company Scam
»  Call Centre Group Sets New Standard
»  Bag The Building Union Back In Vogue
»  Reith Uses the Back Door
»  Big Australian Blamed As Ships of Shame Toll Rises
»  Public Education Bus Donated to East Timor
»  Vic Opposition Blocks Fair IR Laws
»  More Reasons to Abolish the Employment Advocate
»  Coca-Cola Hit by Racism Claims
»  Souths or Bust!
»  Fundraisers for Burma, Timor, EMILY's List

»  The Soapbox
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Heaps of US Presidential Feedback
»  George W's Words of Wisdom
»  Cancer of the Soul
»  Explaining to to the Gott - Slowly
»  Desperately Seeking George Scurry

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