Government to cap wage rise for low paid workers

The Rudd Government’s bid to limit wage rises for low paid workers has been met with fierce opposition by union officials, claiming the measure is “unacceptable” and showed the government is out of touch with Australian workers.

The ACTU commissioned for a $21 per week pay increase for low-paid workers to help them cope with cost of living pressures, but the government have rejected their pleas, warning that the wage increase would cause substantial job losses and do nothing to help the economy.

In a joint statement, Julia Gilliard and Treasurer Wayne Swan said that an excessive minimum wage increase could “have an adverse impact on labour market outcomes, particularly for the low skilled and the low paid.”

Michele O’Neil, national secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union, said the Government was being “short sighted” and “out of touch with the hardship facing low-paid workers.”

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