Young workers treated poorly: new research

August 30, 2016

Independent research findings released yesterday show many young workers are not being paid correctly, receive no training and have a lack of career progression.

TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said the data was of major concern in that a whole generation of younger workers were being conditioned to accept being treated poorly by employers.

John reminded young workers that joining a Union was not just about receiving higher wages than non-Union members, but that Unions also hold employers responsible for providing penalty rates, superannuation and adequate on-the-job training.

“Traditionally, we find many members of the TWU – and other Unions –join when they are young and arethen paid-up members for the the entirety of their working lives. They understand the value of strength in numbers, they like the feeling that someone always has their back and they understand the true benefits of membership – benefits that go far beyond the benefits they find in their pay packets,” John said.

“I encourage all young workers to consider joining a Union and, as part of that, to speak to a TWU delegate in their workplace or a TWU organiser about what we can do for them. A majority of TWU members will also be negotiating new EBAs next year, so there really is no better time to join.”

ACTU President Ged Kearney said the Federal Government also needed to invest in young people through education and training.

The ACTU commissioned market research firm QDOS Research to conduct the poll in the first half of 2016, with almost 500 young Australians, between 18 and 24 years of age, taking part.

Key research results:

  • Half of respondents said they were being treated poorly by their managers.
  • 56% said they were receiving no training at work.
  • 51% think they are not being paid the right amount and are concerned about their working conditions.
  • 49% said they cannot rely on getting regular work.
  • A quarter are worried they are not being paid enough superannuation by their bosses.
  • 64% don’t have any kind of career progression.
  • 72% said they would like some external support with safety issues.

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