MEDIA RELEASE: Senator Leyonhjelm launches attack on NSW low paid workers

Aug 4 2015

4 August 2015: Senator David Leyonhjelm’s decision to introduce a Bill into Parliament calling for the slashing of penalty rates shows the Senator has no understanding of the importance of penalty rates to workers.

The NSW Senator announced today that he will introduce a Bill into Parliament next week to remove penalty rates on weekends. The Bill will be co-sponsored by Family First Senator, Bob Day.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW/ACT Secretary, Bernie Smith, said that the Senator’s claim that slashing penalty rates will be a “shot in the arm” for retail, hospitality and tourism businesses shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue.

“This won’t be a shot in the arm for retailers, this will be a kick in the guts for retail workers,” Mr Smith said.

“Cutting take home pay for the lower paid will have a devastating impact on consumer spending and therefore a devastating impact on our economy.

“No matter how Senator Leyonhjelm tries to dress this up, the fact remains that this is nothing sort of an opportunistic, short-sighted attack on workers’ take home pay.

“We knew this report would be used as an excuse to attack workers’ pay and conditions, and unfortunately Senator Leyonhjelm has proven that to be true.

“If the Senator had taken the time to read the Productivity Report properly he would see that it clearly states that low paid workers’ annual take-home pay will be cut if this sort of recommendation is adopted. We’re talking about people in low paying jobs here – they simply can’t afford to take a hit to their take home pay.

“This Bill, if adopted, would see families across NSW hit very hard. People will be forced to take on extra jobs to make ends meet, or be forced onto the welfare system.

“This is a disgraceful attack from a Senator whose clear intent is to attack the pay of our low paid workers.”


Stand up for retail workers and any further erosion of their precious family time.
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