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Freelander hits out on looming cuts to penalty rates

Opposed to penalty rate cuts: Dr Mike Freelander

Opposed to penalty rate cuts: Dr Mike Freelander

More than 10,000 people, or one in six workers, in Macarthur who work in the retail, food and accommodation industries will be affected by cuts to penalty rates which come into effect from this Sunday, says Dr Mike Freelander, the Labor member for the federal seat of Macarthur.

The cuts to penalty rates will continue on July 1 next year and again 12 months later on July 1, 2020.

Workers stand to lose up to $77 per week from cuts to penalty rates.

“Penalty rates are not a luxury, they are what pay the bills and put food on the table,” says Dr Freelander.

“Labor is completely opposed to any cuts to penalty rates for Australian workers.”

Dr Freelander said this week Labor introduced legislation in federal parliament that, if passed, would stop cuts to penalty rates.

He said Labor’s bill would restore penalty rates in awards and ensure they can never be cut again.

“Stopping the cuts to penalty rates would be easy if only Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals dropped their disregard for workers, joined Labor and supported this bill,” he said.

“But they won’t, because they want Australian workers to get a pay cut.

“This government has had eight opportunities in the parliament to protect penalty rates and they have voted against protecting them every time.

“Turnbull’s position is a slap in the face for low paid workers, who this weekend, on July 1 will have their penalty rates cut again.

“This time the cuts will be even deeper,” he said.

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