3 Jun 2013

Minimum wage decision awaited on Monday

9:14 am on 3 June 2013

The Fair Work Commission in Australia is to hand down a minimum wage decision on Monday.

Unions want an increase of $A30 per week and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants $A5.80.

AAP reports the ACTU proposal would lift the minimum wage from $A15.96 per hour to $A16.75 an hour, or $A636.40 per week.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said last year's wage rise of $17.10 was absorbed by business and the economy continued to grow.

"Wages growth has been steady but not excessive across the economy and inflation is low," Mr Oliver said.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Andersen said a $A30 rise could jeopardise jobs and hurt small business.

"The ACTU claim is reckless," Mr Anderson said.

"There is no doubt that thousands of jobs will have their job security weakened. Many employers will see a big wage increase in this case as the straw that breaks the camel's back."

In its submission, the federal government said:

"Any increase should take account of changes in living costs and the economic environment ... as well as the domestic and global economic outlook in the short to medium term."