RBA’s Note Printing Hypocrites over stalled Wage Rise

Australia’s money printing facility is facing industrial strife as unions and the central bank gear up for a battle over low wage growth.

Workers at Note Printing Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Government’s Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have voted to take protected industrial action after months of negotiations for fair wage rises in the new enterprise agreement hit a brick wall.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) Victorian Print Secretary, Tony Piccolo, hit out at the RBA, labelling them hypocrites for denying their own workers fair pay rises at the same time as calling for pay rises to boost the economy.

“RBA boss, Phillip Lowe, called on businesses to lift wages to boost household incomes and keep the economy on track, yet he won’t 
deliver this for his own workforce,” 
said Mr Piccolo.
“Phillip Lowe told Parliament in February that he wanted to see 3.5% wage rises across the country. Then why is he refusing to acknowledge the hard work of his own workers with a 3.5% pay rise – rather than the 2.5% he’s offering, which is barely above inflation?” said Mr Piccolo.

ETU Victoria Secretary, Troy Gray, said, “We support the Governor’s calls for wage rises. But he needs to get his own house in order before he next approaches the pulpit.”
“If even the people who literally print money won’t treat their workers with respect and fairness, then clearly we have to change the rules so workers can get the pay rises we deserve. Even the Reserve Bank won’t give workers a pay rise willingly.”

Note Printing Australia members voted in May to begin industrial action, including full-day stoppages and smaller stoppages, to resolve the stalemate.

ETU Organiser, Nathan Jenkins, says the company’s decision to dig their heels in doesn’t make sense.

“They’re essentially arguing over a couple of percent. They’re getting to the point where they’ve almost cost themselves that in lost production from the members’ stoppages. It seems more ideological than anything, their approach.”

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