People take part in a march for better work conditions and higher wages in Australia, in Melbourne on Wednesday. William West / AFP
Tens of thousands marched for better work conditions and higher wages in Australia on Wednesday, bringing the city of Melbourne to a standstill, ahead of national elections in May.
The opposition Labor party wants to make stagnant wages a focus of its election campaign, with its union allies claiming “Australians have seen the largest fall in their living standards in 30 years.”
The governing conservative Liberal-National coalition has argued the best way of boosting wages is through company tax cuts.
Many demonstrators wore fluorescent “hi-visibility” workwear and carried banners with “Change the Rules” written on them.
State premier Daniel Andrews said the rally should remind Canberra that Australians are demanding a proper “living wage.”
“People are angry. They are out in the streets. They are out in force but they are campaigning for something very simple: ‘a fair go,’” he told reporters as he joined the mass rally.
City commuters endured a second day of disruption in less than a week, after animal rights activists blocked busy streets on Monday during a surprise peak hour demonstration.
Some Labor supporters have argued for a slew of workers to receive higher minimum wages and a cap on the number of foreign workers entering the country.
Australia is expected to extend its enviable recession-free run of growth into a third decade, the government said on Tuesday even as it downgraded forecasts for coming years. Despite that, the government was able to promise a return to budget surplus in 2019/20 starting July 1, the first since 2007/08 before the global financial crisis hit. The improving budget position enabled the government
Usman Khawaja was all set for his third hundred this month but fell for 98 which lifted Australia to an imposing 327-7 in 50 overs after they were sent into bat on a flat Dubai International Cricket Stadium pitch.
A rampant Australia defeated Pakistan by 20 runs in the fifth ODI to complete a 5-0 clean sweep in the five-match series in Dubai on Sunday.
The Criminal Court of Dubai on Tuesday sentenced a fake Arab businessman, 30, to six months in jail plus deportation over cheating a translator countryman, 33, and swindling Dhs50,000 from him.
An employee posed as a detective in army fatigue to take a woman away and assault her. He was jailed for seven years on Tuesday.
The Fujairah appellate court adjourned the case of a restaurant worker charged with sending pornographic pictures and videos to an Arab girl who ordered a meal at the restaurant.