The decision to cut penalty rates for hospitality, retail and fast food workers is a devastating blow for the hundreds of thousands of low paid workers that rely on them, and was made possible because Malcolm Turnbull and his Government have been campaigning for their cut.
Labor does not support this incredibly disappointing decision.
Make no mistake, Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal government have been pushing for penalty rates to be cut.
Yet again, the Turnbull Government has let down Australian workers, sitting by and doing nothing to protect workers’ wages. It is unacceptable that more than 60 members including Malcolm Turnbull have called to abolish or cut penalty rates. It's the one thing that unites the Liberal Party and very clearly differentiates it from Labor.
With inequality at a 75 year high, wages growth at record lows and underemployment at record highs, there could not be a worse time for this decision to cut workers’ take home pay.
Families are already under pressure with stagnation in wages, rising costs and the casualisation of the workforce. Workers in retail, hospitality and fast food workers should be fairly compensated for the time they spend away from their families on weekends and public holidays.
What we need to remember is that ‘someone else’s worker is your customer’. Slashing penalty rates means that workers will have less money to spend and will find it harder to make ends meet.
We will never support changes to which leave workers worse off.
Labor respects the independence of the Fair Work Commission but will not stand by and see this important protection watered down.
We will never support changes to which leave workers worse off. That’s why we’ve introduced legislation so that the Fair Work Commission cannot ever vary a modern award in a way that would, or would be likely, to reduce the take-home pay of any employee covered by the award.
If Malcolm Turnbull was prepared to support our legislation then penalty rates wouldn’t be cut and they’d be forever protected.
Sadly, Malcolm Turnbull and his government don’t support that legislation.
Malcolm Turnbull is happy to see workers get their pay cut and big business get a tax cut. For Malcolm Turnbull penalty rates might be just business, for Labor it’s personal.
You can sign the petition calling on the Government to protect penalty rates here: http://www.protectourpenaltyrates.com.au/