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Macaulay says McManus will declare war on employers

Wednesday, 13 March 2019
By Wayne Robinson

The CEO of PIAA Andrew Macaulay says the most powerful trade unionist in the country, ACTU general secretary Sally McManus, will “declare war on the employer if Labor is elected.”

Macaulay was responding McManus declaring Australia is in an “income recession” after seizing on a report into wages, and pushing for a significant increase in the minimum wage.

McManus claims that the report says living standards today are lower than during the 1991-92 recession, although the actual author of the trade union commissioned report immediately contradicted her, and said that living standards today are 65 per cent higher than ’91-’92.

Maculay said the proposed increases in the minimum wage and restrictions on overseas labour put forward by the ACTU will be seriously bad news for print businesses. He called on policymakers to tackle spiralling domestic and commercial energy costs without raising wages above inflation.

When not if: Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA

The unions are pushing for a rise in the minimum wage to take it to 60 per cent of the living wage, which equates to a rise of about 10 per cent. Business points out that the Australian minimum wage is already the second highest in the world.

Macaulay said “How many small businesses will be able to afford their wages bill increasing by 10 per cent? How many small businesses will be forced to reduce the number of hours their staff work? How many small businesses will forced to reduce their staff numbers because they can’t afford to pay their staff the correct wages? How many small businesses who are already operating on low profit margins will be forced to close? It seems a question of when, not if, minimum wages become unaffordable.

Income recession: Sally McManus, ACTU

 “The big unions don’t want Australian jobs sent overseas, and the majority of Australians don’t either, but that is exactly what will happen when the unions keep pushing up minimum wages each year.

“If the cost of living is going up in a particular area, such as energy prices, let’s come up with policy solutions to fix the high cost of energy prices, instead of always trying to increase wages well beyond the rate of inflation to compensate for high energy prices.”

And on union attempts to restrict overseas workers Macaulay said, ”Of course Australian businesses should be employing Australian workers, but if minimum wages keep rising every single year, at some stage Australia will reach a tipping point – will Australian businesses be able to afford to employ Australian workers? And what about small businesses, how will they be able to afford to employ Australian workers?”



2 Responses to “Macaulay says McManus will declare war on employers”

  1. March 13, 2019 at 1:53 pm,


    Oh Andrew,
    Parroting the LNP messaging points yet again.
    Guess what? Pay people a fair wage and give them steady employment and they actually buy things. Things that come in packaging, things that have instruction manuals, things that are advertised in magazines, things that appear on billboards, things that have labels. Printing plays a major part in the economy and to ignorantly claim that “Sally McManus will declare war on employers” once again demonstrates how much the PIAA is out of touch with the real world

  2. March 13, 2019 at 4:18 pm,


    This article only mentions a rise in the minimum wage. Having been in this industry for over 40 years now (and still there), I have seen many significant changes: the introduction of Digital, the down turn in Manufacturing and the demise of our Printing Colleges, to name a few. My belief is that there seems to be less qualified and formerly trained people within our industry now, as a consequence of this, a number of unskilled people are increasingly taking on more responsible and technically challenging roles whilst still being asked to accept low unskilled worker wages. From this perspective, I would support Sally McManus.
    You may counter the argument with “but qualifications still exist, however having taught in traditional trade colleges and also within the competency based training system, I have seen nothing to sway me, on my argument

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