Every day, staff in agencies like Catholic Care and Vinnies provide support to families struck by unemployment and the grind of poorly paid, insecure and intermittent work. They experience, first hand, the poverty caused by a market that has not provided worthwhile employment opportunities or training that would allow people to get into the workplace and bargain for pay above safety net wages.
They have also witnessed the impact of public policy that has sought to increase worker productivity by deregulating workplaces and to lift participation in the workforce by restrictions on social security. Broadly speaking, these changes may have benefited highly paid workers and unemployed people with skills. They have been of little benefit for workers and unemployed people who have minimal bargaining power and remain ‘unattractive’ to the market. The clearest indication of this is the declining value of minimum wages and income support.
ACSJC, Pastoral letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker 2010