MEDIA RELEASE: Robbing workers of public holiday rates a blatant attempt to drive down wages

Feb 23 2015

23 February 2015: The Australian Hotel Association’s call for workers to be robbed of penalty rates on important days like Labor Day and the AFL Grand Final is just another blatant attempt to drive down wages, workers say.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW Secretary Bernie Smith said that the call from the AHA shows a complete lack of respect for workers around the country who spend public holidays away from friends and family in order to keep businesses running.

“Public holidays are important days for everyone to be able to take time out to spend with friends and family,” Mr Smith said.

“If workers are forced to spend these important times away from friends and family, while the majority of the country is out celebrating, they should be compensated.

“This is just another blatant attempt by businesses to drive down wages.

“Of course these public holidays are important days, otherwise they wouldn’t be public holidays in the first place.

“For the AHA to suggest that Labour Day – the day we celebrate workers’ rights and the anniversary of achieving the right to the eight hour day – is not important shows just how out of touch they are and how little respect they have for the workforce

“To suggest that paying workers fairly for sacrificing valuable time with friends and family on these important days is causing good businesses to close down shop, is certainly stretching the truth.

“It’s high time businesses stopped trying to cut wages of some of our lowest paid workers, and started focusing on meaningful ways to improve business in this country.”

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