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Wage Rises Still Too Low

06 May 2005

Wage Rises Still Too Low

New wage figures show that unions are on the right track and have a good case for demanding higher pay, Council of Trade Unions economist Peter Conway said today.

The Labour Cost Index was updated today and showed that wages lifted by 2.5 per cent in the last year while consumer prices were up by 2.8 per cent and executive pay rates went up by 5.2 per cent.

More than 40 per cent of workers got no wage increase at all in the last year.

“There are signs of some higher wage increases coming through in 2005, but these statistics confirm that unions have a very good case for higher wages,” Peter Conway said.

“There have been labour shortages for more than four years, but there’s a very long lag in signs of wages rising in response.”

Peter Conway said that where workers got a pay increase in the last year, the median was 3.1 per cent.

“There is ample room for higher wages that are not inflationary when productivity and profitability levels are considered. It will mean that the huge lift in profits will need to absorb some of the wage increase.”


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