The ACTU has welcomed Labor Leader Bill Shorten’s firm pre-Australia Day commitment to protect in legislation the wages of millions of workers who rely on weekend penalty rates.
The pay packets of many TWU members, along with millions of other Australians who rely on penalty rates to survive, are being threatened by an escalating employer group and Federal Government campaign to scrap them in a bid to increase profits.
In the same week Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison flew to London to give a speech in which he again argued for Australia’s company tax rate to be slashed to 25-per-cent, Mr Shorten said too many Australian families relied on penalty rates to survive to consider scrapping them.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Acting Secretary Chris Fennell said the wages of all members should be increased and protected and not cut at any opportunity – especially those who sacrificed weekends and time with families to keep the economy moving.
“These honest, hard-workers have enough to worry about in making ends meet and trying to create better lives, without now having to worry about what to do if they get a sudden pay cut. Most will simply have to work more shifts, and therefore having less time at home, to cover the gap. Which, of course, means that the Coalition’s claim that jobs will be created by cutting penalty rates could be a furphy,” Chris said.
“The TWU will fight to the end for our members, and all working Australians, to ensure all wages and conditions, along with all other mechanisms that provide some protections for workers, are retained.”
- The ACTU has also released a pre-budget submission calling for equality, decent living standards and inclusive economic growth which will benefit all Australians, not just a wealthy few.The submission claims inequality between Australians is at its highest level in 70 years and calls on the Government to change course from its failed ‘trickle down’ approach and produce a Budget that builds, not undermines, the key foundation blocks of equality and decent living standards.
The ACTU’s submission contains 10 broad proposals — highlighted by the need to ensure inclusive growth, tackle inadequate revenue, transition the economy post mining boom, invest in infrastructure and plan for increased wage growth to protect Australian worker’s living standards.
The full ACTU Pre Budget Submission (January 2017) is available online.