ACTU steps up campaign on penalty rates

Original article by David Crowe
The Age – Page: 4 : 13-Jun-18

Polling undertaken on behalf of the ACTU show that a majority of voters in the marginal federal seats of Forde, Gilmore and Robertson would support a push to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rate cuts. The ACTU will launch a new campaign ahead of changes to the weekend penalty rates regime that take effect on 1 July and the five by-elections that will be held on 28 July. Employers argue that lower penalty rates allow them to trade on weekends.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GETUP LIMITED, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, REACHTEL PTY LTD

Hike in wages a direct threat to jobs

Original article by John Slater
The Age – Page: 19 : 4-Jun-18

The minimum wage will increase by $A24.30 per week, which is significantly lower than the $A50 rise that had been advocated by the ACTU. The 3.5 per cent increase announced by the Fair Work Commission is still well above the inflation rate, and research by shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh refutes the ACTU’s claim that a large increase in the minimum wage will prompt strong growth in jobs. The best way to lift the income of low-paid workers and to create jobs for the unemployed is to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens that deter businesses from hiring additional staff.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED

Greens minimum wage cost comes in at $630m

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 5 : 30-May-18

The Australian Greens have proposed permanently setting the minimum wage at 60 per cent of the median wage. Greens MP Adam Bandt says this would increase the minimum wage to around $A757 per week, compared with $A695 at present. However, the policy would cost employers an additional $A630m a year. The ACTU has also advocated pegging the minimum wage to average earnings, while Labor considered but ultimately rejected such a proposal due to its likely impact on jobs.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Minimum wage a tax on employers, says economist

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 17-May-18

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Roger Wilkins says it is "absurd" that an increase in the minimum wage could see people on low incomes move into a higher tax bracket. It is estimated that the marginal tax rate of about 193,000 workers will rise from 19 per cent to 32.5 per cent if the minimum wage is increased by 2.1 per cent. The minimum wage was increased by 3.3 per cent in 2017, and the Australian Industry Group has advocated a 1.8 per cent rise in 2018. The Fair Work Commission is expected to announce its decision shortly.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

Pay boost could create 57,000 jobs

Original article by Anna Patty
The Age – Page: 23 : 19-Apr-18

Economic modelling undertaken by the ACTU suggests that increasing the minimum wage by $A50 a week would result in up to 57,000 jobs being created in the first year, and 30,000 in the following year. The ACTU’s modelling, which was included in its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual review of the minimum wage, is based on the assumption that much of the increase would be returned to the economy the in form of higher consumer spending. Independent economist Saul Eslake and the Australian Industry Group have questioned the ACTU’s modelling.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA

Restaurants, cafes back retail call for pay freeze

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Simone Fox Koob
The Australian – Page: 5 : 15-Mar-18

The restaurant and catering industry association has voiced its support for the National Retail Association’s call for the minimum wage to be left unchanged in 2018. Its submission to the Fair Work Commission argues that a rise in the minimum wage cannot be justified given the current economic conditions. The Australian Retailers Association has proposed increasing the minimum wage by $A13.20 a week, in line with the inflation rate, while Master Grocers Australia has called for a rise of just $A7.20 a week.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, MASTER GROCERS’ AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ACTU, IGA, FOODWORKS SUPERMARKET GROUP LIMITED, BOTTLE-O, MITRE 10 LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Retailers seek minimum-wage freeze

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 14-Mar-18

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb says the Fair Work Commission should leave the minimum wage unchanged in 2018, arguing that retailers cannot afford a rise in base wages given the current trading conditions. In contrast, the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has proposed increasing the minimum wage by $A13.20 per week, while the ACTU has pushed for a rise of $A50 a week. Labor in turn has called for an above-inflation increase in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL RETAIL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Unions in push for $50-a-week minimum pay rise

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 13-Mar-18

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the ACTU’s proposal for a 7.2 per cent increase in the minimum wage would result in fewer job opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed, while people on low incomes would have less job security. He has urged the Fair Work Commission to limit the 2018 increase in the minimum wage to 1.8 per cent, which equates to $A12.50 a week. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry in turn supports a 1.9 per cent increase, or $A13.20 a week. The FWC approved a 3.3 per cent rise in the minimum wage in 2017.

CORPORATES
ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Labor a triple threat to jobs and wages: PM

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: W3 : 8-Mar-18

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told a business summit that unemployment would rise if Opposition Leader Bill Shorten implemented his proposed minimum wage reforms. He warned that regulating increases in the minimum wage would not be sustainable unless it was accompanied by growth in the economy. Turnbull also said that Shorten’s stance on Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine has resulted in a "genuine" sovereign risk that could affect other projects, with a resulting impact on jobs and investment in Australia.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ADANI MINING PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

Get a real job (for once) O’Connor, instead of fiddling with commission

Original article by Judith Sloan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 20-Feb-18

A proposal by the Opposition’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor to transfer responsibility for setting the minimum wage from the Fair Work Commission to the Federal Government was ill-considered. There is some merit in having the minimum wage set by the independent umpire, which takes into account factors such as the state of the economy. It should be noted that people on low incomes are most at risk of being retrenched or having their working hours cut if an increase in the minimum wage is excessive. Likewise, many people on the minimum wage are in fact from wealthy households.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION