Fair Work Commission Hikes Minimum Wage in Australia by $18.70/Week Beginning July 1; 1.5 Million Aussie Workers to Benefit from Decision
By Vittorio Hernandez | June 4, 2014 3:11 PM EST
The Fair Work Commission (FWC) announced on Tuesday the result of its yearly review of Australia's minimum wage. The commission increased the minimum wage by 3 per cent or $18.70 per week, ABC reported.
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has donated $65 million to improve the quality of higher education in Western Australia. The record-breaking donation of Mr Forrest is the largest single donation in the history of Australia.
That would mean the new minimum wage would be $640.90 per week, beginning July 1, up from the current $622.
In granting the adjustment, FWC President Justice Iain Ross pointed out that there has been almost zero growth in the real value of awarded wages for minimum wage earners, while other workers enjoyed substantial pay hikes.
"The deterioration in the relative living standards of award-reliant workers; the needs of the low-paid; the recent widespread improvement in labor productivity growth; the historically low levels of real unit labor costs; and the absence, in aggregate, of cost pressures from the labour market are all factors favouring a real increase in minimum wages," Ross explained.
Labour unions have been pushing for a higher $27 per week salary adjustment, but employers oppose that level of adjustment, saying they can only afford up to $8.50 a week.
Unions have warned that the growing gap between the minimum wage and average earnings could create a class of working poor among Australian employees.
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