Published On: Mon, Jul 12th, 2021
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Australian Union Wants Guaranteed Minimum Wage for Fruit Pickerson July 13, 2021 at 4:34 am

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The Australian Worker’s Union (AWU) will appear before the Fair Work Commission today to push for a guaranteed minimum wage for fruit and vegetable pickers. At present, the minimum rate of pay for casual farm work is $25.41 per hour (US$19.02). However, the AWU says farms can “dodge” the minimum rate through piece-rate arrangements, where workers are paid depending on the quantity of fruit or vegetables harvested. “Piece-rates make it easy for vulnerable workers to be cheated, ripped off, and exploited,” AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said. “The farm lobby loves piece rates because their complexity is a great place for wage thieves to hide. Currently, you don’t even have to record how many hours someone is working.” Some workers are paid as little as $3 an hour under piece-rate arrangements, according to the AWU, so they argue that making an hourly wage floor would make it easier for workers …

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