Economy

May 22, 2018

Start ’em young: why it’s time to revisit the fight over youth wages

Why does a 20-year-old deserve less pay than a 21-year-old doing the same job? If the unions want more young people on board, this is the way to get them.

Benjamin Clark — Freelance writer

Benjamin Clark

Freelance writer

junior rates

The best part of the ACTU’s Melbourne rally earlier this month was not the banners, the chants or the speeches -- it was the babies. Back-slapping, brawny construction workers and tattooed dockers were momentarily distracted from bellowing workplace grievances by the tiny balls of swaddled cuteness.

Flag-bearing nurses flashed beaming smiles, striking academics mouthed "aww" in unison, even the stony-faced police guarding the peaceful mob waved at the tiny proletarians. I haven’t been so distracted amidst public political agitation since the marriage equality rallies, when the local gay community revealed themselves to be prolific owners of miniature dachshunds.

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