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Penalty Rates Action: What Can We Do?

Penalty Rates Action: What Can We Do?


The Fair Work Commission decision in February to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates has left many in the hospitality sector reeling.

The Turnbull Government has actively come out in support of the FWC ruling, stating a workplace move towards a "seven day economy." 

The cuts, to be introduced in July, will equate to approximately $2,000 less in pay per year, reducing hospitality workers’ ability to make ends meet and pay for everyday necessities.

United Voice members attended a student rally earlier today to protest the cuts, organised by the National Union of Students.

Representatives including United Voice member Shane shared their stories and discussed why the cuts will be so detrimental, not only to them, but to the workers in other industries who will be affected by cuts in the future.

Below is Shane’s rally speech:

Penalty rates aren't a luxury, they’re a necessity. For many people working in retail it's a very hard time right now. I don't think taking money out of the working class families would help the economy or stimulate employment. So many students working in hospitality rely heavily on penalty rates to pay their bills, living expenses and to make end meets.

Right now young people are looking at the casualisation of the workforce, insecure work and never being able to have the Australian dream of owning a home. Everyone wants to be treated with fairness. We sacrifice precious family time to make the rest of the community’s special celebrations a success.

I believe the community will stand by our side against those unjust cuts to our penalty rates, because they understand the sacrifices we make.

You've got the words to change a nation,

But you're biting your tongue,

You've spent a life time stuck in silence,

Afraid you'll say something wrong,

So why let your voice be tamed.

Those lyrics are symbolic to our fight against injustice in the workforce.

It's time for each and every one of you to let your voice be heard and join the fight to keep our penalty rates. United we stand.

For those who would like to learn more about these penalty rates cuts, and how they can act to stop them, come along to United Voice’s workers forum: