A move to raise wages for Australia’s lowest paid workers was swiftly rejected by businesses.
Australian Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andrew McKellar argued on Wednesday that raising wages for migrant workers would “kill” many immigration programs overnight.
Trade unions and employers agree the government should increase immigration intake to 200,000 in response to the current skills crisis.
However, ACTU support is contingent on temporary skilled immigrant salaries being raised to about $90,000 and indexed annually by the Wage Price Index.
Speaking to reporters in Canberra, McKellar said wages should be left to the market.
“We’re seeing very significant steps to attract people to work,” he said.
“The idea here that some sort of artificial mechanism or checkpoint is needed before we can begin to respond to the crisis we are facing is not the right one.
“[ACTU]wants to raise it from $53,000 a year now to $90,000 a year. This will kill many areas of the immigration program overnight.”
Instead, it suggested that raising the threshold to $59,000 would be “more realistic”.
On Wednesday, the ACTU released its second discussion paper ahead of the Government Employment and Skills Summit in September.
Opt-out union membership for foreign workers and the abolition of visa requirements that bind workers to a single employer are among the many proposals from the highest union bodies.
ACTU President Michele O’Neill told NCA Newswire Wednesday that he hopes more can be done to end the exploitation of migrant workers.
“What this report shows is that migrant workers should be sponsored by industry, not individual employers, because employers control your salary and passport. Because it’s a recipe for exploitation,” she said.
– with Katie McLeod
Wages in Australia won’t rise anytime soon
Source link Wages in Australia won’t rise anytime soon