The trade union movement, with more than 3 million members, is strongly organized at local, state, and federal levels and is an economic and political power. About 53 percent of all Australian wage and salary workers belong to trade unions, which have a very positive image within the country. Due to a combination of union action and industrial law, workers receive unemployment and sickness benefits, compensation for job-incurred injuries, basic wages and marginal awards, and general social and health benefits. A basic or minimum wage was established by law in 1907.
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