Workers and unions will rally outside Harvey Norman’s Hobart and Launceston stores at lunch time today in support of a fair minimum wage rise as the Fair Work Commission prepares to deliver its decision within weeks.
Harvey Norman’s profit increased by 116% last year. Gerry Harvey was personally paid $80 million in dividends and salary for 2020. The company has also refused to pay back the $22 million in JobKeeper that was intended to subsidise workers’ wages for companies hit hard by COVID.
“Gerry Harvey called coronavirus an opportunity while the profits of his company soared, but it was his staff, and essential workers just like them around the country, that put their health and safety on the line during COVID,” said Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday. “They deserve a pay rise after nearly a decade of low wage growth.”
“Major employer organisations are arguing for effective wage cuts for workers, with some wanting 0% pay rises and others arguing any even minor raises should be delayed by months. It’s a slap in the face to the over two million workers who rely on the national minimum wage case each year to deliver them a much-needed pay rise.”
“Gerry Harvey and indeed the Federal Government should publicly support a decent pay rise for low paid workers who we know we spend that money in our local economy,” said Ms Munday.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling for a 3.5% pay increase. Unions Tasmania supports this claim.
When: Today, Friday 28 May
Where: Harvey Norman, 171 Murray Street Hobart
and Charles St, Launceston
Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday, will be available for comment in Hobart and SDA Secretary, Paul Griffin, will be available in Launceston.
For further information: Jessica Munday 0417 454 809