Reduction to Sunday penalty rates will hurt households say community leaders

Reduction to Sunday penalty rates will hurt households say community leaders

This morning church leaders, charities and unions including Uniting Church representatives held a press conference to condemn the Fair Work Commission announcement of reductions to Sunday penalty rates.

At the Trades Hall Union press conference UME Mission Initiatives Consultant, Rev. Dr Raymond Joso, said that the Uniting Church advocates for just employment where workers are viewed as human beings and not an “economic unit”.

“This is not about charity; this is justice,” said Rev Dr Joso.

“Penalty rates signal that rest and recreation time is valuable and benefits the whole community, and there is more to being a citizen then being a consumer.”

Workers in the retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy industries will be affected by this rate reduction.

Sunday penalty rates for retail full-time and part time works will drop from 200 per cent to 150 per cent of the standard hourly rate. Casual workers Sunday penalty rates will be reduced from 200 per cent to 175 per cent. Employee Sunday wages in the hospitality industry will go from 175 per cent to 150 per cent. Casual hospitality employee wages will remain the same. For full time and part time fast food employees their Sunday rates will be reduced from 150 per cent to 125 per cent. Sunday rates for fast food casuals will drop from 200 per cent to 175 per cent.

For some workers this amounts to a loss of up to $6000 per year. This could be detrimental to workers and families across Australia that rely on penalty rates to keep households afloat each week.

Secretary of Unions NSW, Mark Morey, said there hasn’t been this amount of anger “for ten years”.

“People are saying that they now want to participate in democracy,” said Mr Morey.

“The community is going to send a clear message to the politicians: We will work together.”

Rev Dr Joso echoed this sentiment.

“To the workers and their unions, we say- the Uniting Church is with you,” he said.

 

Picture: Rev. Dr Raymond Joso joined the Catholic and the Anglican Dean at Trades Hall Union to address the reductions to Sunday penalty rates. 

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