The majority of retail, fast food and warehouse workers say their financial situation has deteriorated over the past five years, according to a new survey of nearly 10,000 members conducted by the SDA.
The survey of 9.699 members prepared for the upcoming National Wage Case shows members struggling under falling living standards:
• 79 per cent of respondents said the rising cost of living is putting pressure on their household budget;
• 56 per cent of respondents said their living standards had declined over the past five years; and
• 77 per cent of respondents say that any delay in the National Wage Case would cause financial hardship.
The Consumer Price Index was up 5.1% in the past quarter, meanwhile childcare costs increased by 6.5% last year and housing costs rouse 6.7 pr cent over the same period.
SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said, “Retail workers are no longer working to get ahead, they are not even working to stand still, they are working hard to go backwards.
“This is why a commitment to support an increase in the minimum wage is critical to the wellbeing of the nation’s retail workers and their families.
“A wage rise needs to happen right now to help with skyrocketing cost of living and a decade of sluggish wage growth. It’s critical to the future of our economy and communities.
“We know when minimum wage workers receive wage increases, they put it straight back into the economy.
“This economic boost is especially important for rural communities, with recent modelling by independent think tank Per Capita finding retail wages contribute well over $15.7 billion per year to the economies of rural, country towns and regional cities.
“The bottom line is we can’t let retail workers fall even further behind during the cost of living crisis,” he said.
The SDA will launch a TV advertisement supporting the National Wage Case claim today: (1) Essential Workers Deserve a Pay Rise on July 1 – YouTube
Gerard Dwyer is available for interview.
Media contact: Jane Garcia (Essential) 0455 111 593