February 9, 2018

If making ends meet wasn’t tough enough already, new figures show, for many Australians, it’s getting harder by the day.

Figures from the Bureau of Statistics show the cost of basic life essentials like fuel and transport are rising at their fastest pace in 3.5 years, and much faster than the growth in wages.

Charity organisations like the Salvation Army say while demand for clothing and shelter has always been strong, more Australians are now showing up on their doorstep simply looking for their next meal.

Despite this situation new Federal IR Minister Craig Laundy has ruled out introducing “a living wage” that would actually help working people, put more money in their pockets and stimulate the economy.

The ACTU want this living wage pegged at 60% of the median wage.

TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said the union would continue to fight for members and their families to ensure that the minimum wage is a living wage and guarantees that workers can afford rent, a healthy diet, health care and utilities.

“Big companies and the Coalition Government are testing our resolve and the resolve of hard-working Australians and we will continue to tell them in no uncertain terms that they are looking in the wrong wallets,” he said.

But it is not just the Federal Coalition wanting to hammer down Aussie workers when they most need a hand up.

Yesterday Victorian Liberal and National MPs abandoned some of the state’s most vulnerable workers in opposing Andrews Labor Government legislation to stop exploitation in the Victorian labour hire industry.

The proposed legislation is part of what the Andrew’s Government has committed to help stamp out wage theft.

Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins slammed the Opposition for trying to block the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017, which will introduce a universal licensing scheme to protect labour hire workers.

The Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work uncovered widespread abuse, exploitation and underpayment of workers across Victoria.

John said a number of the Union’s submissions and evidence to the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work formed the basis of some recommendations contained in its final report to the State Government.

Following the Inquiry, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced to last year’s Branch Delegates Conference a big win for the TWU in that the State Government would mandate minimum hourly rates for Tip Truck Owner Drivers across all government infrastructure projects.


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