ACTU president Ged Kearney said as people stepped into the voting booth they should think about the business push to strip billions from worker’s pay packets and the Coalition’s refusal to rule this out.

“Businesses have made it clear that they want to cut penalty rates and the Coalition opposed enshrining penalty rates in law.”

“There is little doubt that penalty rates are under threat, particularly under an Abbott-led government.

“A Coalition win will be a dream outcome for the business lobby who will have an ally in power willing to do their bidding.

“What we could end up with is a nation where workers give up weekends, public holidays and work late into the night for no extra. If you or someone you know work unsociable hours then you are in for a pay cut.

“The business lobby are hoping to cut the wages of hard working staff under the proviso that removing penalty rates will lead to increased employment opportunities.”

“However there is no evidence that this will create new jobs, and plenty of evidence it will hurt low-paid workers.

“Tony Abbott’s promised productivity commission inquiry into the Fair Work Act will give employers a further platform to make their case to cut penalty rates and other award conditions.