#March4: I need my penalty rates...

Jessie at March4 rally

Across Australia today, thousands of workers have stood together with their workmates, families, friends and neighbours to protest against the Abbott Government.

The Federal Liberal Government has set up a Productivity Commission to examine penalty rates, the minimum wage and workplace conditions, which could have huge impacts on the lives of union members.

In Perth more than 1500 people rallied on the steps of Parliament House. (photos here)

Union members from across the state stood together in unity, to fight against the Abbott government’s blatant anti-worker agenda.

United Voice member and hospitality worker Jessie addressed the huge crowd on the steps of Parliament House today.

Watch the full speech:

 

“I choose to be here today to stand up for my rights at work and to stand up for my union; the same way they have stood up for me in achieving penalty rates and fair working conditions,” she said.

“My penalty rates mean everything to me. I know it sounds cliché but it’s true. Without penalty rates, I would lose over 30% of my pay check.

“Without penalty rates, I will not have a job in hospitality because it will not pay me enough to remain in the industry full time.

“I work hard for my job and I deserve to be paid extra for the hours I work on weekends and late nights, foregoing time with family and friends.

Jessie then sent a message to the Prime Minister himself.

“Tony Abbott, we need to talk,” she said.

“This is a direct message for you and the Liberals, because you still don't seem to understand.

“You cannot use the Productivity Commission to hide behind.

“You cannot strip us of our pay and our working conditions, conditions we as Union members have fought for.

“Now I'll leave this whole penalty rates debacle with one question for Mr Abbott and his government… Is it your job to ensure big business profits and low labour costs? Or is it to create and keep Australians in sustainable jobs for the future?

“You and I, we are not asking for much today. We are asking for fair wages & secure employment. And if our Prime Minister cannot support us in this, he is not a Prime Minister we should support.”

To join the campaign to save our rights at work text your name to 0418 113 440.

Were you at the rally? Check out the album of photos on the United Voice WA Facebook page!