The paper “ How the Australian Council for Trade Unions and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Try to Get Rightful Minimum Wage Rates” is a meaty version of a case study on finance & accounting. The importance of the minimum wage rate determination is to have the worker acquire a decent lifestyle by ensuring that they meet their basic needs without putting a strain on the economy. The first attempt to fix minimum wages was made in 1970 in an International Labour Organization Convention on Minimum Wage Fixing.
Its main aim was to give all workers fair consideration in terms of monetary rewards to enable them to gain some form of social protection (ILO 1996). The developments have been fast in many parts of the world including Australia. There have been national legislations. For example, Australia has adopted the requirements of the International Labour Organization Equal Remuneration Convention. Australia did this by enacting the Workplace Relations act. The act provided guidelines to both the government and the private sector on best practices of handling people with diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds (Sappey et al.
2006). The framework for human resource policy is henceforth more standardized and identifiable with the International guidelines. This was followed by the Fair Wages Act whose primary purpose was to bring fairness in the level of remuneration that wage earners take home. Both the Australian council for trade unions and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Made Submissions regarding their views on what should be done during the revision of the minimum wage by the panel. Each of the parties presented the basis for justifications of the proposed course action.
This paper evaluates the approach that these bodies apply in pushing for justifiable minimum wage rates and the extent to which their views were incorporated in the decisions of the Minimum age Panel. The ACTU, relied on a number of objects and economic fundamentals to argue its case. It cited the loopholes in the Work Relations Act that got corrected in the new Fair work Act. Based on this it called for fairness in the process of setting the minimum wages for junior workers. It particularly emphasized on the real increase in minimum wages in line with the requirements of the Act that provides for social inclusion of award dependent workers. The council observed that in the time between 206 and 2011, the minimum wage rate rose by 15.1%, but the consumer price index rose by 15.4%.
Though this suggests some harmony in the trends of these two attributes, average wage rates rose by a higher 26.7% which is a reflection of unfairness in the relative living standards of workers in different categories. Worse even is the fact that real wages have not increased beyond the 2006 level besides constant increases by the panel due to inherent economic conditions that deter a real change in the purchasing power of the award dependent employees. The council relied on HILDA data to demonstrate that the level of award dependent workers has increased from 17.4% in 2008 to 28.5% today.
This calls for more serious consideration for their welfare more than before since the decision would now impact a larger portion of the population. With respect to economic conditions, the council submitted evidence supporting sustainable economic growth.
Inflation was reported as constant. The cost of living is rising faster but the wage growth is moderate. The economy has recovered from the effects of the eurozone crisis hence the economic situation is promising for investors. The wage share from the national cake is at its minimum since 1960. These conditions underline the strain that falls on the low-income wage earners since they represent fixed purchasing power in a rising price level economic situation. The constant inflation suggests that employers can support higher wage rates at least for the award dependent workers.