Craig Thomson jailed for three months; ARA to contest FWC decision on wages: Midday Roundup

Former Labor MP Craig Thomson has been sentenced to three months in prison, after being found guilty of using Health Services Union funds to pay for prostitutes and other personal expenses.

Thomson received a 12-month jail sentence, with nine months suspended.

Thomson’s barrister Greg James QC announced his intentions to appeal immediately in court and will lodge an application for bail.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg said Thomson’s offences had “exhibited a brazen arrogance and sense of entitlement”, which were “driven by greed and selfishness”, according to the Herald Sun.

ARA to contest FWC decision on wages

The Australian Retailers Association has announced it plans to contest the Fair Work Commission’s decision to abolish junior wage rates for 20-year-old employees.

The decision, handed down on Friday, will see 20-year-old employees paid the same as 21-year-old staff if they have been with a company for six months.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said retailers are “outraged at the decision” which was based on “no evidence”.

He said it will severely hit retailers financially, will “kill jobs” and hinder skills developments.

“What retailer is going to employ a young Australian without any experience in the industry, when they can employ someone a few years older with more experience for exactly the same wage?” he said. “This decision will prove detrimental to both employers and employees.”

He said the ARA is looking into “all possible appeal options” and will be raising this matter directly with Employment Minister Eric Abetz. He said the ARA will also be instructing its legal team to look at all options to address the decision.

“The ARA will also fight against the already promised claims from the union movement to move on under-20 year old pay rates,” he said.

Shares fall on open

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, on the back of Wall Street loses and escalating tensions in Ukraine.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 30.8 points to 5316.1 at 11:53am. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 26.08 points down, dropping 0.16% to 16,276.69.


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