The Restaurant & Catering Industry Association has joined with the hair and beauty industry – represented by the Australian Industry Group – to form the second wave in the ongoing attack on weekend wages. Media reports suggest that the Club Industry employer body, Clubs Australia might also join the attack on weekend pay, but at this stage they have not indicated their position.

When big business are getting billions of dollars in tax cuts, and corporate profits rise 40% in a year, while wage growth is stalled at historic lows, and now penalty rates are under sustained attack across the economy – that’s inequality, and that’s a broken system.

If these attacks are allowed, then workers in these industries sand to lose between $46 and $92 per shift.

It should be very clear to all Australians that this is happening because the Turnbull Government failed to act to protect penalty rates.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“This is not surprising – we had legal advice which said that the Fair Work Commission’s ruling would open the door to action exactly like this – but it is disappointing that more employers are attacking pay.”

“While at this stage the Club Industry has not indicted their position, we urge them not to follow suit with the ideologues of the AIG and the RCIA. Any employer group who seeks to take advantage of Malcolm Turnbull’s green light to attack penalty rates will have a fight on its hands.” 

“We’re campaigning to change the law to ensure that wages are protected, and can’t be cut by the commission under pressure from employers. In the last parliamentary session we fell short by just a couple of votes. This latest attack on wages should make a few Coalition backbenchers very nervous about their decision to green light these cuts”

“Penalty rates are an essential part of weekly wages for millions of Australians, and wages should never be cut. We need pay increases in this country and instead this government has given a green light to every employer to attack penalty rates.”

“If the independent umpire can cut pay then that system is broken. It’s not what it was designed or set up to do, so we need to change the rules.”

“The union movement are going to take this campaign all the way to the next election. This government has waved through wage cuts, the opposition has promised to reverse them. It’s that simple.”