10,500 Workers in Oxley Face Penalty Rate Cuts

05 June 2017

Today Labor will hold the Protect Penalty Rates Forum in Goodna to discuss with workers the devastating impacts that cuts to penalty rates will have on them and their take home pay.

10,588 people in the Oxley electorate who work in the retail, pharmacy, food and accommodation industries will be affected by the cuts. They will lose up to $77 a week because of Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts.

The forum comes almost one month to the day before cuts to penalty rates begin to take effect on July 1.

Federal Member for Oxley Milton Dick MP said that cuts to penalty rates would be a huge blow to local workers.

“The Government is quite happy to see the wages of hard working locals cut whilst at the same time handing out $65 billion dollars to big business” said Mr Dick.

“Times are already tough for many locals and the decision by the Government to support these cuts will only make it tougher.

“I’m pleased to welcome Lisa Chesters MP, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations, to our community today to hear directly from locals how these cuts will affect them.”

Other awards are also under review providing proof that the first round of penalty rates is just the thin edge of the wedge of a broader assault on the take-home pay of workers here in Oxley.

Retail is the third biggest industry in the Oxley electorate, employing 6,976 workers. The food and hospitality sector is also a major employer with 3,612 workers in the industry.

With wage growth already at record lows, now workers have even less money to spend in local shops, restaurants and other businesses.

“Local workers are faced with a situation where they will go to work on Sunday one week, but be short-changed and walk home with $77 less in their pocket the following week once these cuts to penalty rates begin on July” said Mr Dick.

“I won’t stand for it, our community won’t stand for it and we will fight this decision all the way.”

A recent report from the McKell Institute found that cuts to penalty rates will hasten the "mass casualisation" of Australia's workforce, leading to a decrease in job security, less paid leave and more workplace stress.

“This government doesn’t care about working people. I know from talking to workers across the country that the people impacted by this cut to penalty rates are those who can least afford it. Their penalty rates are the reason they can make ends meet each week,” said Ms Chesters.

The Protect Penalty Rates Forum will provide locals the chance to speak out about how the Turnbull Government’s attack on penalty rates, jobs and working conditions will hurt them, their families and their community.