Unions Are Pushing For A $50 Boost To The Minimum Wage

Big business is fighting back

Unions Are Pushing For A $50 Boost To The Minimum Wage Pexels

Unions are pushing for a $50-a-week increase to the minimum wage. 

The Australian Council of Trade Unions will make a submission to the Fair Work Commission arguing for the substantial boost for the lowest paid workers.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus argues the rise is necessary, noting many people on the minimum wage work in retail and hospitality.

"These are exactly the same people who are facing a penalty rates pay cut on the 1st of July as well," she told ABC radio.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the commission needed to give careful consideration to the economic impact of any wage increase.

"If you increase the minimum wages further when we already have one of the highest minimum wages in the world, without taking steps to improve the profitability of business, you will drive more people into the unemployment queues," Senator Cormann told ABC TV.

While there is limited evidence in Australia, the UK Low Pay Commission has now commissioned over 130 pieces of research from accomplished academic economists, which finds minimum wages boost workers’ pay, but don’t harm employment.

Unions will rally in Melbourne on Tuesday in support of the ACTU's push which is a major rise from last year's claim of $22 a week.

Once the commission has reached its decision, the changes will come into force on July 1.