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Count down: 4 public holidays left in WA before penalty rates are cut



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THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS MEMBER FOR GORTON

COUNT DOWN: 4 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS LEFT IN WA BEFORE PENALTY RATES ARE CUT

After today, there are only four public holidays left before wages are cut for hospitality and retail workers in Western Australia.

Hard working Australians in WA who are giving up time with family and friends to work today’s labour day public holiday will see their wages cut by the Turnbull Government’s refusal to stop the Fair Work Commission’s cut to penalty rates.

Workers employed under the hospitality, restaurant, retail, fast food and pharmacy Awards will all be impacted by the cuts to penalty rates.

The West Australian Liberals - from the Premier down - have argued for cuts to penalty rates.

West Australians have a choice on Saturday to vote for a Labor Government that doesn’t want a cut to penalty rates or a Liberal Government that does. Premier Colin Barnett clearly stated his support for cuts to penalty rates saying:

“What I would like to see is, reduce those excessive Sunday penalties ... bring them in line with Saturday and increase the base rate."

ABC - 24 February 2017

Malcolm Turnbull and his Ministers campaigned for the Fair Work Commission to cut penalty rates.

In fact, the West Australian member for Durack Melissa Price even made a submission to the Fair Work Commission calling for penalty rates to be cut, saying that:

“this has merit and would result in an increase in business opening hours and therefore employment in Durack.”

Submission to FWC - 14 December 2015

Minister for Employment and well-known West Australian Michaelia Cash also supports the cuts to penalty rates saying it is only a “minor” matter.

No, Senator Cash, this is not a minor or marginal matter for most Australians.

West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith told The Australian:

“The government’s new- found energy and optimism should be directed to arguing the case for economic reform, starting with reform to penalty rates.”

The Australian - 24 December 2015

Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition never has and never will stand up for ordinary Australian workers.

The fact that in Malcolm Turnbull’s world it makes sense to give big business a $50 billion tax cut while at the same time supporting a wage cut to Australia’s lowest paid workers shows just how out of touch the Liberals are.

Malcolm Turnbull last week had the chance to join with Labor and support our legislation that would stop unfair cuts to the take-home pay of low income workers, but unsurprisingly he didn’t.

This slap in the face to workers by the Turnbull Government comes as inequality is at a 75-year high, wages growth is at historic lows and underemployment is at record highs.

There could not be a worse time to cut workers’ take home pay.

There is still time for Turnbull and his Government to change their stance and join with Labor to support the take-home pay of Australian workers.

MONDAY, 6 MARCH 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: ERIN SMITH 0458 950 010