The lowest paid workers in Australia have been granted a measly 42 cents extra per hour this week.
The so called ‘Fair Work Commission’ only managed to increase the wages of 1.8 million workers by $16 per week.
The union movement was asking for a minimum rise of $27 a week to stop growing inequality.
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said unions were extremely disappointed with the decision.
The minimum wage in Australia is now less than half the average wage.
Dave Oliver says every year the gap is getting wider and Australia is heading toward an entrenched US style working poor.
“Costs such as healthcare has gone up 4 per cent, education has gone up 5 per cent, childcare has gone up 7 per cent each year for the last 10 years, and yet the commission has handed down a 2.5 per cent wage increase," he said.
When your low salary can't keep up with even inflation, it means you're going backwards - each year low-paid workers like cleaners and retail workers are losing their purchasing power.
It seems even when there is a supposed independent umpire the poorest people in Australia’s workforce can’t get a fair deal.