Local News

Local wages are under attack

March 10, 2017

So many people in our local community rely on penalty rates to keep food on the table.

That's why it's so frustrating that the Turnbull Government is refusing to step in to stop the Fair Work Commission's cuts to penalty rates.

Our local community is set to be one of the hardest hit in the country by Mr Turnbull's inaction.

Almost 13,400 people, or one in six workers, in my electorate of Rankin and about 11,600 next door in Forde work in the retail, food and accommodation industries affected by the cuts.

These workers stand to lose up to $77 a week.

It's disappointing that instead of fighting the cuts, Forde MP Bert van Manen has brushed them off as "minor".

That might be the case for him or Malcolm Turnbull, but for some of our local community's lowest-paid workers, a $77 cut to their pay packet every week is anything but minor.

It's devastating, it's unfair and it's left them worrying about how they will make ends meet.

The cuts will also hurt our local economy, as workers will now have less money to spend in local shops, restaurants and other businesses.

My Labor colleagues and I are determined to stop this damage being inflicted on our local workers and economy.

We are pushing for changes in Parliament which would stop these cruel cuts from going ahead and ensure penalty rates can't be cut in the future if it means a reduction in workers' take-home pay.

Given how close the numbers in Parliament are, Mr van Manen can ensure these changes are passed if he votes with us.

If you are worried about what the cuts mean for you and your family, you can join our fight against them by sharing your story at the website www.ProtectOurWeekends.com.

First published in The Logan Reporter on 10 March 2017.