Around 100 people joined a protest outside Harvey Norman on May 28 to support the Australian Council of Trade Union’s submission for a 3.5% increase to workers through the annual wage review.
Billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey’s company has proposed that any raise to the country’s lowest-paid workers be delayed by six months.
This would amount to a wage cut.
Despite increasing its profits 116% during six months of the COVID-19 shut downs, Harvey Norman has insisted on keeping all the $22 million JobKeeper allowance that was paid to it.
Other employers have argued for no increase at all.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus said on May 28 that Harvey Norman doubled its profits from the global pandemic, “benefited from a delay in the last increase in wages and then refused to pay back JobKeeper”.
She said lowest-paid workers needed their 69 cent an hour pay rise.
“Prime Minister Morrison must also stop supporting big business’ calls for real wage cuts – what the economy needs now is people with money to spend.
“For many workers, a 3.5% increase would make a significant difference after nearly a decade of low wage growth.” McManus said the minimum wage needed to rise to help those who need it most — around half of all award wage workers have insecure casual jobs.