The decision to cut penalty rates for hospitality, retail and fast food workers is a devastating blow for the hundreds of thousands of low paid workers that rely on them, and was made possible because Malcolm Turnbull and his Government have been campaigning for the rates to be cut.
Labor does not support this incredibly disappointing decision.
Make no mistake, Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal government have been pushing for penalty rates to be cut.
Yet again, the Turnbull Government has let down Australian workers, sitting by and doing nothing to protect workers’ wages. It is unacceptable that more than 60 members including Malcolm Turnbull have called to abolish or cut penalty rates. It's the one thing that unites the Liberal Party and very clearly differentiates it from Labor.
With inequality at a 75 year high, wages growth at record lows and underemployment at record highs, there could not be a worse time for this decision to cut workers’ take home pay.
We will never support changes to which leave workers worse off. That’s why we’ve introduced legislation so that the Fair Work Commission cannot ever vary a modern award in a way that would, or would be likely, to reduce the take-home pay of any employee covered by the award.
If Malcolm Turnbull was prepared to support our legislation then penalty rates wouldn’t be cut and they’d be forever protected.
Sadly, Malcolm Turnbull and his government don’t support that legislation.
Malcolm Turnbull is happy to see workers get their pay cut and big business get a tax cut.
For Malcolm Turnbull penalty rates might be just business, for Labor it’s personal and that’s why we’ve introduced legislation to protect penalty rates.