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Unemployment is the main concern for about half of South Africa’s poor population while the other half is concerned about low earnings or the poor quality of work. Reuters/Jon Herskovitz

How high unemployment has eclipsed the plight of South Africa’s working poor

One in five workers in South Africa is poor. The plight of the working poor has wide implications. Employers have a responsibility to ensure a minimum level of decent wages.
Federal contractors are among the working poor Gary Cameron/Reuters

We don’t fight poverty anymore

Fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson spoke of war on poverty and pursuit of a great society. He talked about investing in education and employment and about eliminating social exclusion that comes with poverty…
The Commission of Audit made much of the affordability of Australia’s core areas of social spending without any consideration of our social responsibilities. AAP/Tom Compagnoni

The Commission of Audit wants to rip up Australia’s social contract

The recommendations in the Commission of Audit’s report, which was released yesterday, would, if implemented, erode the fundamental building blocks of Australia’s social contract. The social contract…
From the heart: a food bank established last month outside HSBC. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Michael Gove and the real picture of poverty in Britain

Michael Gove’s recent suggestion that inadequate financial management skills among poor families are to blame for the increasing demand on food banks has, unsurprisingly, sparked an angry response. Critics…
Flying the flag for workers’ rights. Elliott Brown

Zero-hour contracts: the dark side of flexible labour markets

Whether it be young people selling sports shoes, or carers looking after the elderly, workers in the UK are increasingly being forced into zero-hour contracts. This hasn’t happened by accident: it is a…
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver has called on the government to increase the minimum wage to combat growing income inequality in Australia. AAP

Why the ACTU needs to hold the line on the minimum wage

The recent Four Corners documentary on poverty in the United States is a salutary reminder of why the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) needs to hold the line on minimum wages in relation to average…

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