Unions are seeking a $21 a week pay rise for workers on minimum wages to protect jobs by maintaining the purchasing power of working families and stimulate the economy. The ACTU has welcomed the passage of new Fair Work Laws through Parliament last Friday but says more needs to be done to protect the jobs and incomes of working Australians in tough economic times. Launching the unions’ pay claim today, ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said more than 1.3 million award-reliant workers must get a pay rise that maintains the real value of their wages in this year’s National Minimum Wage Case. “Decent wages are a vital defence against a downturn in jobs and the prospect of a serious recession because they stimulate demand,” Mr Lawrence said. continue reading

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