Election coming but Turnbull Government refuses to come clean on penalty rates

The Federal Opposition’s submission to the Fair Work Commission today in support of penalty rates has highlighted just how out of touch the Prime Minister and his ministers are with working people.


Two of Australia’s biggest unions, United Voice and the SDA, the union for retail, fast-food and hospitality workers, today welcomed the Federal ALP’s submission to the Fair Work Commission, saying it shows the Opposition understands the importance of penalty rates for Australian workers.


As Prime Minister Turnbull prepares to go to the polls, working people have a right to know whether he supports their current weekend pay rates. If not, they will vote accordingly.


Statement attributable to Jo-anne Schofield, National Secretary, United Voice, the hospitality union:


“It is disappointing for our members that the Turnbull Government refuses to similarly recognise the importance of weekend rates for hundreds of thousands Australians.


“Mr Turnbull needs to stand up to the people within his party who are on the record as demanding some of Australia’s lowest paid workers receive a pay cut when they give up time with their families to work on weekends and holidays.


“Instead his Government refuses to commit to maintaining penalty rates for people who work weekends, nights and holidays, despite the clear evidence that cutting weekend rates would be a pay cut that low paid hospitality and retail workers can’t afford and don’t deserve.


“Thousands of submissions by individuals to the Fair Work Commission penalty rates case shows just how out of touch the Federal Government is when it comes to community expectations on this matter.


Quotes attributable to Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary of the SDA, the union for retail, fast- food and warehouse workers:


“Weekends still mean something in Australia and anyone who has to give up that time deserves every cent they earn.


“As we head into one of the busiest long weekends of the year, people across Australia will be working to keep our country running and to help the rest of the community enjoy a break from work and other commitments.


“These people deserve to know that the Federal Government understands their sacrifice and supports their current weekend pay rates.”

“The ALP submission to the Fair Work Commission in support of penalty rates shows that many of our politicians do understand the needs of working Australians. Unfortunately, however, the Prime Minister isn’t one of them.


“The ALP was spot on when it said in its submission that penalty rates are not a luxury, they are what pays the bills and puts food on the table.”



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