Hospitality industry demands wage freeze and visa slaves

Yesterday we reported that the hospitality industry has demanded that the federal government provide it with a new class of visa so that it can alleviate purported skills shortages by hiring foreign workers.

Today we learn that the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association has urged the Fair Work Commission to freeze the minimum wage until February 2022:

The association, which represents 48,000 restaurants, cafes and catering businesses across Australia, is among employers in COVID-stressed sectors urging the commission to either impose a 12-month minimum wage freeze or delay pay increases in adversely impacted industries until next February…

Righto, so the hospitality industry is supposedly having difficulty hiring local workers, yet it refuses to offer decent wages and conditions to attract said workers into the industry.

Instead, it wants the Morrison Government to give it easier access to low-paid foreign slaves under this new class of visa.

As I noted yesterday, the notion of skills shortages across the hospitality and tourism industry is a joke.

The industry lost 86,200 workers in the year to February 2021, according to the ABS:

Hospitality industry jobs

Hospitality jobs remain well below pre-COVID levels.

The number of job postings across Hospitality & Tourism was 40% below pre-COVID levels at the end of February, despite the 33% increase in job postings across the broader Australian economy:

Australian job postings

Hospitality & tourism jobs were down 40% from pre-COVID levels at the end of February 2021.

Wage growth slumped to only 0.3% in the year to December 2020 – the lowest recorded wage growth across all Australian industries in calendar year 2020:

Hospitality industry wage growth

Wage growth across the Accommodation & Food Services industry was the lowest in Australia in 2020.

And most importantly, the median earnings across the Accommodation & Food Services industry by far the lowest in Australia in August 2020 (as well as August 2015) at only $650 per week, according to the ABS:

Hospitality industry median earnings

The Accommodation & Food Services industry pays the lowest wages in Australia.

The only shortages the hospitality industry is experiencing are credibility, integrity, and the willingness to pay a living wage.

Giving the hospitality industry greater access to migrant workers would only push wages even lower, deprive Australians of job opportunities, and exacerbate the migrant wage theft that is already endemic across the industry.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. Rent seeking in 2021 is much easier than back in the day when these industry bodies actually had the decency to do real analysis.

    Now just assert your position. Bald face lie and preferably get some morons to front the outfit who have plausible deniability about being able to understand the “analysis for hire” you’ve commissioned from one of the big 4.

    Seriously I wonder why my grandparents generation bothered fighting WW2 ….