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2CH news comments

New threat to wind back penalty rates

#1020 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 11 Jan 2015

Australian employers have mounted a concerted campaign to wind back weekend and public holiday penalty rates, especially in the hospitality sector.

Employers argue they need to guarantee greater flexibility and lower costs in the face of tough economic conditions.

But ACTU president Ged Kearney dismissed industry arguments as “nonsense,” saying, “the day they play the rugby league grand final on a Tuesday, you can say weekends are no different [from weekdays for workers].”

If the employers’ wishes are granted, hospitality industry workers can say goodbye to quality weekend family time and penalty rates for working unusual hours.

The churches have consistently argued that all persons must be treated with dignity and respect, including in the workplace; work done should be justly remunerated; workers have a right to adequate rest from their employment; and a healthy work-life balance delivers measurable benefits to workers, their families, their employers and the whole community.

I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.

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