With the help of the Australian Workers Union, the first union for employed hair stylists, Hair Stylists Australia, was officially launched on February 1. Hairdressing is one of the lowest paid trades in Australia.
The union’s goal is to bring the 60,000 mostly women hairdressers from around the country together to raise the standard of how hair stylists are treated and improve their pay and conditions.
Hairdressers have told the new union they are increasingly being treated as independent contractors with some required to rent space in a salon instead of being paid a wage. Some who receive wages reported they were not receiving any penalty rates on weekends.