The Australian Workers’ Union has won a historic victory at the Fair Work Commission, ordering farm workers to be paid at the minimum casual rate of $25.41 per hour.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says the decision was made by a statutory authority “separate to the government”.
“We respect their decision but this is a draft determination, there is still an opportunity for those who don’t agree with the decision to appeal it,” he told Sky News Australia.
Mr Littleproud said the final determination will be “probably before Christmas” and the government wants to ensure farmers are not hurt by the wage hike by lost revenue from shops.
“We’re obviously concerned that if this pushed up a labour cost to farmers that supermarkets actually make sure that is reflected, and transparently reflected, at the shelf,” he said.
“If they don’t, I think the ACCC need to be all over them because supermarkets have a very strong record of pushing back on farmers and making them absorb much of the increased costs, production costs, and basically not supporting them in any way, shape, or form.”