Federal

Mar 16, 2018

Scenes from a wage case

Retailers, apparently oblivious to irony or self-preservation, want wages cut because people aren't spending much in shops.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The fact that several retail associations wanted either a zero real wage rise or a real wage cut on minimum wage employees has attracted some media attention in relation to the Fair Work Commission's current minimum wage inquiry; less so their reasons. One particularly important reason that retailers want no wage rises is that consumers aren't spending. 

According go the National Retail Association (#unhelpfulacronym: NRA, wants a 0% rise), "recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that the sector suffered a 0.5 per cent fall (seasonally adjusted) during the traditionally busy month of December and the figures for January 2018 again highlighted poor sales growth."

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