The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling on the Lower House of the Australian Parliament to be given every opportunity to get the one majority vote needed to save penalty rates.

The bill, which has already passed the Senate, is being blocked by the Government in the Lower House by the LNP and Independent Cathy McGowan.

Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary, said that there is now a bill before the Parliament that would stop 700,000 Australians wages being cut on July 1.

Comment attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary:

“If this bill passes, 700,000 Australians will be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief, but if this bill fails, people living pay day to pay day will have their weekly budgets thrown into chaos.

“The Parliament must be given the chance to vote on this. Our political representatives owe it to the people whose lives will be made so much poorer as a result.

“Working people across Australia, from Townsville to Wollongong and Fremantle, are doing it tough. We’ve heard stories of widowed grandmothers, who have no choice but to work on Sundays to survive, rationing their petrol so they can visit their grandchildren.

“Make no mistake, these cuts are cruel. The Parliament must bring this to a vote. No more excuses, no more delays, the Parliament must do its job and have a vote.

“The workers affected by these cuts do not work weekends by choice, they work weekends and give up time with family and friends because penalty rates keep them afloat. Cutting penalty rates is a cut to wages when Australian workers desperately need a pay rise.