wages

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), several other trade unions and the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) have slammed as “humiliating” and “beggarly” the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) federal government's announcement that it would increase the country's minimum wage by just RM50 (A$17) a month to RM1050 ($350) from January 2019.

Unions are considering calling a mass workers' protest.

Staff at the Berkeley Living retirement village in Patterson Lakes, Victoria, walked off the job on September 15 after months of not being paid. Some staff returned the next day to look after residents on a voluntary basis.

Consumer Affairs Victoria is also investigating reports that the village operators owe money to former residents.

The daughter of a former resident backed up claims that staff had not been paid properly, but said they were providing the best care they were able to. “They are feeding the patients out of their own pockets,” she told ABC News.

Nearly 70 staff at eheadspace — the national youth mental health service headspace's round-the-clock telephone and online counselling provider — were told they had just 24 hours to sign on to individual agreements that locked in year-long wage freezes, or they would lose their jobs.

A dispute has been listed in the Fair Work Commission after headspace refused requests to extend the deadline.

"For an iconic healthcare service, they don't treat their staff with any better respect than 7-Eleven or Grill'd," Health and Community Services Union organiser Serena Ho said.

Activists demonstrated outside global big brand fashion outlets in the centre of Sydney's central shopping district on September 17 to demand that these companies pay the workers who make their products (in countries like Cambodia) living wages and respect their right to organise.

Other solidarity actions in Australia were held in Canberra and Melbourne.

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