Flexible code

The Australian opines that “It is not tenable that Australian retailers trading after 6pm should pay almost three times the hourly rate…in the US” (“Retailers put strong case for workplace reforms”, 20/6). As the U.S. minimum wage is currently $6.86 per hour, I would say it is not only tenable, but necessary.

Unions have offered to trade penalties for higher base rates, but employers decline because variable rates give them scope to control costs. It is thus clear that “flexibility” is simply code for lower wages.

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