The head of Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council, Maurice Newman, in a recent speech set an agenda which the AMIEU believes could become a common theme in our industry in times to come.
Mr Newman singled out wages as a key issue in a speech to the business community, noting that Australia’s minimum wage is higher than that of the UK, the US and Canada.
“When you find out that the minimum wage in Australia is $US33,500, you compare that with most of Europe at around $22,000, Canada, which is our probably closest competitor, which is $22,000 and a 44-hour week, you realise you’re right off the pace”
We’ve already had the experience of processors citing the alleged cost of processing a beast in the U.S. and Brazil vs. Australia. The aspiration no doubt is to bring our wages and conditions down to the lowest common denominator.
Of course whenever the cost of living comparisons between these different countries is raised, it emerges that Australia is in the high cost of living bracket compared to the lower cost of living countries like the U.S. and Brazil. Basically, the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing is more expensive in Australia that a lot of other countries!
Members will need to be vigilant not to fall for this propaganda, or entertain it for a second as having any legitimacy.