Unions closing Australian wage gap – so why restrict access?
New research from Victoria University shows workers in unions are closing the wage gap with Australia much quicker than their non-union workmates.
This showed that current proposals to put barriers in the way of workers accessing unions were very misplaced, National Distribution Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.
“Wages overall increased 1.6 per cent in the past year, but Victoria University’s just-published employment survey showed wages in collective agreements increased by 4.2 per cent,” he said.
“Given this, we have to question any government committed to closing the wage gap with Australia would want to put any barriers at all in the way of workers accessing unions to bargain collectively.”
Robert Reid said in the retail sector some of the strongest wage growth had come from unionised workplaces, including a 3% increase for Progressive Enterprise supermarket union members (following 3.25% last year), and 7-9% for Kmart union members.
“But retail workers without access to unions are typically on little more than the minimum wage. To go anywhere near matching Australian wages, these workers need access to unions.”
“And the government should reject the recommendations of Don Brash in his $100,000 report on closing the gap which called for the minimum wage in New Zealand to be abolished,” Robert Reid said.