AWU National secretary Daniel Walton: 'Changes will create safety net for workers'

Australia: Minimum wage for fruit and vegetable pickers to take effect this month

Major changes are made to the way Australia's fruit pickers are paid. From April 28, changes to the Horticulture Award mean that farm workers typically paid according to how much produce they pick or pack must be guaranteed a minimum hourly rate. For casuals, that's $25.41 per hour. Workers can still be paid the piece rate, according to their productivity. The average competent worker must be allowed to earn 15 per cent above the minimum, almost $30 per hour.

The changes were announced by the Fair Work Commission following a successful appeal led by the Australian Workers' Union (AWU).

AWU National secretary Daniel Walton said the changes would create a safety net for workers. "If they're more productive, if they can harvest more, pick more punnets, buckets, crates, whatever it might be, then they can earn some more on top," Walton said. "Now that's going to make them more productive, that's a better outcome for the farmer, and it's a good outcome for our members."


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