Minimum wage increase – a pay rise delayed is wage justice denied
The SDA welcomes the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase wages for Australia’s lowest paid workers by 2.5 percent, a rise of $20.70 per week for retail employees.
This has been achieved despite demands for a zero increase from some employer lobby groups and without a shred of support from the Morrison government.
It is a result that would not have seen the light of day without an industry-wide campaign led by the union with the active support of the membership.
However, with the economic recovery outpacing official predictions, there is no justification for delaying the increase for retail employees for two months at a time when the retail sector is outpacing financial forecasts.
With major retailers and supermarket chains recording record profits, there is simply no reason for delaying the increase beyond July 1.
The SDA will be engaging with retailers to insist on immediate wage justice for their tens of thousands of workers by paying the increase from the beginning of next month as had always been the case until the pandemic struck.
Another delay is no reward for essential frontline retail workers who suffered a real wage cut as they risked their health and safety throughout the depths of the pandemic to make sure the rest of the community could buy food and the other essentials of life.
This pay increase is money the low paid will put straight back into the economy, helping boost growth and putting Australia on the path to recovery.