The fight to defend penalty rates will be taken to the Federal Court by Unions following a decision by the Fair Work Commission that would see the pay packets of the most vulnerable in our working community reduced by 14% on Sundays.
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said that United Voice, the Union representing the affected workers, would have the backing of Australian Unions and the broader community in this important fight.
“The decision by the Fair Work Commission to carve out the most vulnerable workers and decide they are entitled to less is one that we won’t stand for,” Mr Oliver said.
“We support United Voice appealing the decision. These workers do not deserve to have their Sunday penalty rates cut.”
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said public opinion was on the side of workers and the Union Movement would not take a backwards step in defending the Australian way of life.
“We know that the business lobby can barely contain their excitement at this decision because they want to use it as a platform to cut penalty rates across the board – and they will do this with the full support of the Abbott Government,” Mr Oliver said.
“Well we say to the business lobby, to Tony Abbott, and the Liberal backbench, if you want a fight over weekends in the Australian community, let’s do that.
“We’re not going to stand by while the business lobby tries to rip the wages out of the pockets of hard working Australians.
“We will fight this unfair push to cut people’s pay in workplaces, we will fight it in the Commission and we will fight it in the community.
“These workers sacrifice their Sundays away from family and friends, they work nights and other unsociable hours, and they should be paid for that.
“Weekends are special – you don’t play the AFL Grand Final on a Tuesday morning, kids don’t go to school on the weekend and we don’t see Parliament sitting on Sundays. The weekend is important to Australians.”
Mr Oliver said that hardworking Australians are still reeling from the harsh Federal Budget and wondering how they’ll make ends meet with increased costs on health, petrol and education, and now a specific group is being confronted with a cut in wages while the business lobby has made it clear they are coming after the penalty rates of the rest.
“The Abbott Government hasn’t wasted any time in making clear to the Australian community that they are on the side of big business and if you are young, old, sick, or unemployed, then you’re on your own,” Mr Oliver said.
“This is the Government that is waging the biggest assault on the social safety net that this country has ever seen – Australian Unions aren’t going to sit back while our way of life is under attack.”
First directions of the judicial review will take place at the NSW Registry of the Federal Court on 18 July.