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Jobsback - No minimum wage increases until the year 2002



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MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

JOBSBACK - N O MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES UNTIL THE YEAR 2002

Under JOBSBACK, many workers will languish on current base award minimum wages for eight to ten years - with no pay increase.

John Howard has confirmed on ABC AM that it will be eight to ten years before the Coalition would consider adjusting minimum wages. '

Mr Howard was responding to Dr John Hewson's admission yesterday that JOBSBACK contains no mechanism to adjust minimum wages - either for workers in the award system, or on individual contracts.

Dr Hewson has speculated that the Coalition will introduce a new minimum wage - almost certainly a New Zealand style low across-the-board minimum wage.

But today, Mr Howard said that there would be no need do anything for eight to ten years. He said he had no intention of telling the Australian public what the alternative minimum would be.

In other words, employees who are allowed to stay in the award system, will still be getting today's wages in the year 2002.

Hardly an attractive "choice"!

The scenario for workers on individual contracts is no better.

Workers cannot stop an employer forcing them down to the current base hourly award minimums. And there is no obligation on the boss to pay any wage increase.

So many workers on contracts will still be getting the same minimum wage in the year 2002.

The fact is, the Coalition's cover has been blown.

How did they ever think they could get away with it?

SENATOR PETER CC

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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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It's hard to imagine anyone manufacturing a better policy for driving drive wages down and keeping them down.

The fact is of course, that the Coalition is just paying lipservice to the award system to disguise its real agenda - to get workers onto low-wage, individual contracts.

What's frightening is that the Coalition is playing god with people's lives.

JOBSBACK is a disgrace - it is shot to pieces.

Contact: Don Mackay (06) 277 7320

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