Unions pursue penalty rates push

Unions pursue penalty rates push

Union and community members around the country are responding to community anger over the coming round of cuts to penalty rates, which will kick in from July 1 this year.


While much of the country enjoyed a long weekend, Change the Rules campaigners mounted a mammoth doorknocking and community outreach effort on Sunday. Dubbed “Super Sunday” the action saw union and community members conduct conversations with voters in regions where the coalition has a thin grasp on power.


Multiple rounds of polling conducted for the ACTU have revealed that the coalition is out of step with community expectations on the issue of penalty rates. Polling taken by Reachtel in March revealed that 66.1% of voters in the Queensland seat of Forde want laws written to overturn the cuts. They were joined by 72.1% of voters in Gilmore on the NSW south coast, and 67.8% in Robertson on the state’s central coast.


Recent polling conducted on behalf of the ACTU revealed that more than 50 percent of voters nationwide thought business profits would rise as a result of penalty rate cuts. Less than a quarter of voters thought it would result in more jobs. Less than 6 percent thought businesses would pass on any savings in the form of higher wages.


The Turnbull Government has voted six times against legislation or amendments that would reverse cuts to penalty rates.


Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“The Turnbull Government is cutting the pay of working people and handing the money to big business.


"These are cuts that working people don’t deserve and can’t afford.


“This is why local activists across the country are talking about these unfair cuts with community members about what we need to do to reverse these cuts.


“By working together and using our collective strength we can change the rules.


“Everyone in Australia who is concerned about the Turnbull Government’s unfair cuts to penalty rates should join the movement for change.”