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Wage increase welcome, but more needs to be done

The SDA, the union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing welcomes the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage and modern award rates by 3%, but at a time of historic low wage growth and cuts to penalty rates, stressed that more needs to be done to lift wages and strengthen local economies.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said while the wage increase would provide a much-needed boost to take home pay, retail and fast food workers were still being left behind.

“While today’s 3% increase to the minimum wage and modern award rates will come as some welcome news to retail and fast food workers, with historic low wage growth, and coming cuts to penalty rates, there’s no doubt many workers will continue struggling to make ends meet.”

“Australia’s historic low wage growth has meant, when taking into account inflation, workers have actually gone backwards in the last five years.

“Today’s wage increase will do little to alleviate that predicament for retail and fast food workers.”

“To make matters worse, over 700,000 retail, fast food and hospitality workers face a further cut to their penalty rates on July 1, with yet another planned for 2020.

“In total, these penalty rate cuts will cost workers up to $6,000 per year. This is a pay cut retail and fast food workers don’t deserve and can’t afford.”

“If the Morrison Government and business sector wish to boost the economy, they should be backing policies which put money back into consumers pockets, not rip it away.”

Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405