The Turnbull Government has refused to rule out their Review’s recommendation to cut penalty rates for all hospitality and retail workers in Hunter.
The Turnbull-Abbott Government set up this inquiry to attack workers’ wages and conditions, and it has delivered what they asked for.
Despite the empty protestations of the Minister for Employment, this is a Government that will move to cut penalty rates.
The Review’s recommendation to cut penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers is a pay cut for the lowest paid workers.
The community knows Labor will defend workers from this attack on penalty rates. Labor understands that this is the first step in what will end up being an attack on the 4.5 million Australian workers that rely on penalty rates, including nurses, paramedics and fire fighters.
The Productivity Commission has relied on assertions from self-interested employer groups to justify their conclusion that penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers should be cut.
Malcolm Turnbull may have pronounced the death of the weekend, but the reality is that seven out of ten Australians still work Monday to Friday. People who give up their family time on the weekend deserve to be paid fairly for it.
The Turnbull Government needs to be up front with the Australian community about their intentions to slash penalty rates.
Labor will fight Mr Abbott every step of the way to protect the decent working conditions that workers in my electorate of Hunter rely on.
Rather than a race to the bottom on wages, Labor believes the Government should focus on jobs and economic growth through investing in skills and training, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Labor will carefully consider this report through that prism, but I won’t cop wage cuts for workers in the Hunter electorate.