12 March 2019

Crikey’s Bernard Keane: “Wage stagnation in Australia, as in other economies, is an act of class war. It’s a war started by powerful corporations and enabled by their political and media allies. Wages are stagnant because our industrial relations playing field is tilted in favour of employers. … The result … is likely to be a permanent downward shift in wage expectations by workers — which is exactly what corporations want. Should wages growth eventually reach 3% some time in 2020, or 2021, workers will be told that happy days are here again. In fact, compared to the years before 2013, 3% wages growth — which is likely to represent just 0.5-0.75 percentage points of growth after inflation — is pitiful. A permanent cut in wages growth will be locked in, to the benefit of corporations and shareholders. … Wage stagnation is a slow, grinding war of attrition, being waged by companies against workers. And companies are winning.”