“Across the Pacific in Australia, the national statutory minimum wage is $15.51 an hour in Australian dollars. Over the past three years, the Australian dollar has been roughly equal in value to the American dollar, so the figure in American dollars is about the same. One Australian dollar roughly equals one American dollar.
Only about 2 percent of Australians, however, are covered by the minimum wage. The rest are covered by industry-wide agreements that are negotiated by the government on behalf of workers. The minimum wage in most of these agreements (including, for example, for adult fast food workers) is $17.03 an hour.
But wait, there’s more: full-time permanent employees in Australia, from toilet cleaners to chief executives, get at least ten sick days, 20 vacation days and (depending on the state) ten or more paid holidays every year. Everyone. All over Australia.
Of course, there is a catch. Part-time and temp workers don’t get these benefits. Instead, they get paid an extra 20 percent to 25 percent in cash compensation. As a result, a part-time, entry-level adult fast food worker in Australia makes a minimum of $21.25 an hour. Oh, plus health insurance. That’s universal in Australia.”
Salvatore Barbones http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/5601