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Data shows joining a union gets workers better pay

19 January 2017 By ACTU

Workers who are on enterprise agreements are paid 25% more than workers on awards or the minimum wage, according to new biennial Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

build a better future stacked reverse hires 03The latest data strongly confirms that unions are vital to ensuring working people get decent pay and conditions.

The number of Australian workers who are on either the minimum wage or awards has increased from 1.9 million at May 2014 to 2.3 million at May 2016, while there are 3.8 million workers on enterprise agreements.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“There’s a simple message here — join a union for better pay.”

“This data is truly appalling as it confirms that there is a reason why this Government and big corporations want to transfer workers onto the award – they are paid far less.”

“This Government’s campaign to stop unions helping workers get decent pay and to access their legal rights is morally bankrupt.”

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government has done nothing to actively stop businesses tearing up enterprise agreements and putting workers back on award wages.”

“This week we have seen dairy company Parmalat threaten to tear up an enterprise agreement if workers didn’t take a pay cut, one of many unscrupulous examples of how corporate Australia is ripping workers off by attempting to use loopholes in the Fair Work Act.”

“Australian Unions are committed as ever to ensuring award wages are lifted and the number of workers on enterprise agreements increases.”


Media contact: Antonia Acott 0418 793 885 or ACTU Media 03 9664 7315

Contact Details
Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400