Minimum wage workers share stories of “grotesque” hours and low paid work to support a 5.5% wage increase

Published: 18/05/2022
Category: Minimum wage
Published: 18/05/2022
Category: Minimum wage

Minimum wage workers have shared stories what it’s really like to live on low paid work, while Morrison dismissed their frontline jobs as a “stepping stone”. 

United Workers Union member Aman hasn’t been out to a restaurant or a day at the beach with his family because he can barely pay for rent and food. 

What Scott Morrison could do to support a pay rise instead of supporting real wage cuts
  • Support our Annual Wage Review claim 

  • Support a pay rise for aged care workers 

  • Support a pay rise for his own workers in the public service  

  • Pass laws to stop wage theft 

  • Fix the insecure work crisis  

“I am working two jobs just to get by. One job is not enough to cover the expenses for a normal family. I can’t even buy a house because the bank won’t approve a loan,” Aman said. 

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has continued the fight for a 5.5 per cent wage increase at the Annual Wage Review hearing at the Fair Work Commission today so workers like Aman can have a decent living. 

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has pointed out that wages are growing at half the inflation rate – even worse than what was predicted in the Morrison Government’s federal budget. 

“We are leaving behind the very people who were there to support the whole country during the pandemic and that is a shameful position,” she said. 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association member Jordan hasn’t even been making the national minimum wage in his fast-food job due to junior rates as a 20-year-old.  

“Trying to get by and making it a little bit better for myself by getting a degree is hard enough as it is without having to work a grotesque amount of hours just to support myself because the minimum wage is so low,” he said.

Workers stand with massive $1 coin cardboard cutouts
Minimum wage workers demand a 5.5% increase to their wages

McManus explained that the 40 billion dollars that were spent on companies that did not need Jobkeeper would equate to an $8 per hour pay rise for minimum wage workers.  

“Profits are up 13%, sales up over 10%, CEO pay up 24%, it is not acceptable that the only people who do not recover financially from the pandemic are the front line workers who put their health at risk for the whole community,” McManus said. 

But the Morrison Government has gone missing on wages again and won’t even commit to a $1 per hour pay increase.  

The change would see an hourly rate increase from $20.33 to $21.45. Although that may not sound like much, it could mean the difference in making rent, putting fuel in the car, or paying for an extra day of childcare.   

Australia’s living standards and wages need to stop going backwards. Wage increases need to more than cover the rising cost of living – so workers like Aman can finally enjoy a day out with their family.  

It’s your choice how you vote this election, but we need to fix stagnating wages and the cost-of-living crisis. Australia can do so much better than Scott Morrison and his Government.

Vote to change the Morrison Government

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Minimum wage workers share stories of “grotesque” hours and low paid work to support a 5.5% wage increase

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Minimum wage workers share stories of “grotesque” hours and low paid work to support a 5.5% wage increase