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Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns

  • June 10 2021
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Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns

By Cameron Micallef
June 10 2021

Australian business lobby groups have been accused of trying to use the current lockdowns in Victoria to cap minimum wage increases for over 2 million workers.

Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns

Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns

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  • June 10 2021
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Australian business lobby groups have been accused of trying to use the current lockdowns in Victoria to cap minimum wage increases for over 2 million workers.

Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns

According to the ACTU, business lobby groups ‘demanded the Morrison government renew attacks on workers rights’ as they made a last-minute submission to the Fair Work Commission.

The national minimum wage is $753.80 per week, for a 38-hour week, or $19.84 per hour.

However, most employees are covered by an award. Awards set minimum wages for employees based on the type of work they’re doing and the industry they’re in.

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In a final submission on Tuesday, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the lockdowns in Victoria are having an adverse impact on businesses, meaning the minimum wage increase should be capped at $8.30 per week.

However, ACTU secretary Sally McManus accused the business groups of using Melbourne’s lockdowns as an excuse to block a pay rise for 2.2 million Australians.

She said it will have a negative impact on consumer spending and the overall economic recovery.

“Instead of supporting a wage rise, which would help all businesses, these business lobbies are trying to exploit a local lockdown to pad their members’ profit margins,” Ms McManus said.

“The companies that get these groups to attack workers’ pay on their behalf should be held accountable. People deserve to know if they are doing business with companies that don’t think minimum wage workers deserve a pay rise.”

The union is calling for a 3.5 per cent increase in the minimum wage, opining it will help millions of Australians workers and their families recover from a once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic and recession while also helping boost small and medium business through an increase in domestic spending.

“Business lobby groups have fallen in line with businesses like Harvey Norman, which have seen huge profits through the pandemic but are still seeking to cut pay for workers,” Ms McManus continued.

“These groups represent some of the companies which profited most during the pandemic. Now these businesses – like Harvey Norman – are using these lobby groups to try and cut workers’ wages.”

Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns
Business lobby accused of exploiting lockdowns
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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