MEDIA RELEASE - PENALTY RATES DECISION TO HIT NEWCASTLE WORKERS HARD
23 February 2017
The Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates will hurt working Novocastrians who can least afford it, according to Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon.
Ms Claydon said she was ‘deeply disappointed’ with the decision, especially in an environment of record-low wage growth.
“This is a massive blow for hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers who rely on Sunday penalty rates just to get by,” Ms Claydon said.
“We know that the people who are most likely to be hurt will be young workers, women, people from culturally diverse communities and jobseekers trying to break into the employment market.
“I’m also concerned that many University of Newcastle students who have been relying on penalty rates to get through their studies may be forced to drop out.”
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government has a shameful history of failing to stand up for Australian workers and cautioned about the precedent the decision would set.
“Over recent years, we have seen a steady roll call of Turnbull Government members coming out in support of slashing penalty rates. If the government had mounted the case to protect penalty rates, it’s very likely we wouldn’t be in this position now.
“Today’s decision will hit hospitality and retail workers. Which workers are going to be in the government’s crosshairs tomorrow?”
Ms Claydon said Labor submitted a case to the Fair Work Commission against cutting penalty rates.
“Labor won’t stand by and let the wages of hundreds and thousands of low-paid workers be cut. We will do everything in our power to remedy this bad decision,” Ms Claydon said.