|Issue No 81||08 December 2000|
ACTU Living Wage Case Begins
The full bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission has commenced hearing an ACTU claim for a $28 pay rise for low-paid workers in Melbourne today.
Under its Living Wage Case 2001, the ACTU will argue that Australia's lowest-paid workers have been hit hard by rising petrol prices, GST price hikes and interest rates increases and need a significant pay rise to maintain their living standards.
"The economy may be doing well but many low-paid workers are being left behind. They missed out under the Government's tax cuts and now face higher interest rates, $1 a litre petrol and GST price hikes. They need a decent pay rise just to make ends meet," said ACTU Secretary Greg Combet.
Combet says that despite its strong economic performance Australia was facing a serious risk of developing an American style class of working poor. A Smith Family study on poverty in Australia released last month, revealed that the numbers of working families living in poverty is growing.
More than 42% of Australian families living in poverty now have one or both adults working and wages are now the main source of income in one in five Australian families that live below the poverty line.
Combet challenged the Howard Government to get serious about ensuring the low-paid a fair share of the benefits of economic growth and support the ACTU claim.
If successful, the ACTU's claim would increase the federal minimum wage from $400 to $428 a week and would benefit between 1.5 and 2 million low-paid workers who rely on minimum award rate increases. A decision on the case is expected in April 2001.
Interview: Back to Work
After a stretch of unemployment following the 1996 election, former Keating Minister Robert Tickner is now helping others find work.
Media: Reality Check
Aiden White, head of the international journalists' union, argues that online journalism presents a new set of challenges for organising.
Economics: In the Same Boat
In an unprecedented move, a coalition of industry, community and trade union groups have joined forces to address long-trerm unemployment.
International: Nepalese Hotel Workers Ask for Support
Hotel workers in the small Himalayan nation of Nepal have finally decided to vent their anger and call a general strike for Monday - over a 21 year old dispute.
Unions: Speaking in Tongues
Labor Council's Mark Morey outlines the successful campaign by local government workers for a community language allowance.
History: Fighting Words
The anti-conscription campaign of 1914-18 tore the ALP apart; but this was not the first time the labour movement took a militantly anti-war stance.
Politics: A New Socialism
In an extract from his new book, political economist Frank Stilwell argues the need for a new radicalism to counter the Third Way
Satire: Roy Slaven on the Rampage
John Doyle's history of the ABC stretches back to a 1958 evening in Lithgow on which he was "scared shitless" by Blackboard on Mr Squiggle.
Review: Mauled in the Bear Pit
Vengeance may be sweet but it is always made better when you are able to write a book about yourself that also provides the opportunity to dump a bucket load on those who undertook your removal.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005