ACTU President Ged Kearney will launch her election tour today by visiting Liverpool Hospital to speak with health workers and then later will join young workers gathering at Parramatta Train Station as part of the Penalty Rates Day of Action.

“Tony Abbott and the Coalition must come clean to the people of Western Sydney and the rest of Australia. Will penalty rates be off limits from their proposed Productivity Commission inquiry into the workplace relations system?” Ms Kearney asked.

“Despite the Liberal Party’s denials, there is no doubt that penalty rates and individual contracts are on the agenda for change after the federal election. The vehicle for this will be the Productivity Commission.

“Every business and employer group in Australia has called for penalty rates to be cut or abolished. This is their big ticket item, and the noise is just getting louder. Will this be impossible for the Liberal Party to ignore? Voters need the Coalition to be upfront about what is at stake for them and how much they will lose from their take home pay,” she said.

“All workers, including young people, deserve to be compensated for giving up time with family and friends on weekends and after hours.”

“Health workers, for example, are expected to work midnight shifts, weekends and public holidays. Can we really expect these workers, many of who are low paid, to not be compensated?”

“Australians don’t buy the view peddled by business that an hour worked on Sunday afternoon or at midnight on Thursday should be paid at the same rate as any other hour worked.

“Politicians will be trying hard to win the hearts and minds of voters in tight electorates such as Werriwa, Fowler, Banks and Greenway.”
“And with many young Australians voting on September 7 for the first time, we expect them to be very concerned about the threat to their penalty rate,” Ms Kearney said.

Details: Outside Liverpool Hospital, on Elizabeth St at 3:30pm and Parramatta Train Station, together with young workers at 5:00pm