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IMF: Fix bargaining for better pay – Australia needs a pay rise

Research by the International Monetary Fund has revealed that the erosion of people’s rights in the workplace has led to less pay for workers.

The International Monetary Fund research that shows that measures that have taken power away from working people in favour of big business have hurt take-home pay packets between 1970 and 2015.

It is the first time that the IMF has acknowledged the effect of policies that take rights from working people on pay and wages.

The report highlighted that job protection deregulation contributed about 15 percent to the average labor share decline in advanced economies.

The authors also found a statistically significant, economically large and robust negative effect of deregulation on the labor share. In particular, the paper states that ‘illustrative back-of-the- envelope calculations suggest that job protection deregulation may have contributed about 15 percent to the average labor share decline in advanced economies’.

Research released last month by the Centre For Future Work revealed that the erosion of rights for working people and the resulting power imbalance with big business is costing working people in Australia more than $16,000 each.

The Centre For Future Work revealed that that the decline of the labour share of GDP since 1975 is costing every working Australian $16,800 per year on average.

Trend could be reversed by restoring the rights of working people and allowing multi-employer bargaining, where people can negotiate fair pay and more secure jobs across more than one employer.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus says “When big business undermines workers’ rights and governments give even more power to big business, to the system becomes unbalanced and workers’ pay goes down.”

“The cost of that power imbalance to someone working full-time in Australia is about $16,000 a year.

“With electricity prices, housing, childcare, transport and health insurance premiums rising much faster than pay, working people need every cent of that $16,000 a year.

Ms McManus also stated that Australia needs to change the rules so that working people get a fair share of the wealth they produce.

“Right now big business has too much power and corporate bosses and wealthy shareholders are taking more for themselves and leaving us struggling.”

“But there are clear solutions to restore the balance. We need to adopt the bargaining system that operates across most of the developed world.

“Working people need the ability to negotiate across sectors and industries and win the pay rises they need.”

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