UnionsACT Statement on Federal wages subsidy

UnionsACT has today welcomed in principle the wages subsidy announced by prime minister Scott Morrison but warned that tens of thousands of workers in the ACT will be left behind due to exclusions and the low subsidy amount.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“We are urging the Federal Government to ensure that all workers are covered by the wages subsidy. This includes all casuals and migrant workers.

“The subsidy amount, just $750 per week, is substantially lower than the average wage in the ACT, which is around $1,830 per week. We need the subsidy increased to 80% of average wages.

“$750 per week is just $10 per week above the minimum wage.

“Nonetheless, the introduction of a wages subsidy is an essential measure during this crisis to reduce the impact of a coronavirus recession, and it is good that the Federal Government finally listened to the union movement.

“Now that the government has announced this wages subsidy, employers must not sack or stand down any workers. The subsidy is backdated, so there is no excuse.

“Hundreds of workers in Canberra have already been sacked or stood down. Their employer should rehire and restart paying them immediately.”

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