Labor to protect penalty rates: Cameron
- 18 hours ago
January 03, 2015
FEDERAL Labor says it's in for a tough fight to ensure millions of
Australian workers keep weekend and public holiday penalty rates as
business launches a push for industrial relations reform across the
Saturday, following Fairfax Media reports that industry groups were
campaigning to wind back and cut weekend and public holiday penalty
rates, particularly in the hospitality sector.
government ... is behind this push by business to try to cut the penalty
rates of ordinary Australian workers," Senator Cameron added. He
said around 4.5 million workers across the country depended on penalty
rates to "actually put food on the table, take the family out to get a
meal and go for a holiday once a year". "Penalty rates are extremely important," he said.
The reported campaign by industry comes as the Fair Work Commission
reviews more than 200 awards that provide minimum wage, hours and other
The commission is also said to be separately examining penalty rates that will impact a number of awards. Senator Cameron said Labor was in for a tough fight to protect current penalty rates.
"The backbench of the Liberal party, cabinet ministers in the Liberal
party, big business, they are all lining up to take advantage of the
downturn in the economy and attack penalty rates," he said. "This is a campaign that's going to be a tough campaign, but it's a campaign that is right."
Senator Cameron was especially critical of moves by Australia's biggest
brickmaker, ASX-listed Brickworks, to cut penalty rates. "This is a multi-billion dollar business; it's simply about cost cutting," he said.
"This is a business that puts hundreds of thousands of dollars into
Liberal party funds, and now they want to take those funds out of the
pockets of their workers."