UnionsWA has today responded to a Fair Work Commission decision on the treatment of weekend penalty rates for Australia’s lowest paid working people on awards.
Western Australia maintains our own workplace laws that govern weekend penalty rates pay for many hospitality and retail employees.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“This is a pay cut that working people in retail and hospitality can’t afford and don’t deserve.
“There will be many working people and their families who will be feeling shocked and angry about today’s decision and feeling worried about how they will pay the bills.
"This is an incredibly harsh decision by the Commission, one that should be over-turned through law reform to protect weekend pay rates.
“These cuts to weekend pay rates will come into effect from 1 July, giving working people and their families little time in which to cope with the sudden loss of income.
“Like other Australians, West Australians care about weekends and WA’s workplace relations laws should also be reformed to protect weekend rates.
"Barnett has repeated over and over his wish to cut the weekend pay of working West Australians. This decision by the Commission will only encourage Barnett to do so.
“Working people in WA can’t risk the Barnett Government being re-elected."
“Any decision to cut weekend rates will be opposed by WA unions. Weekend rates are a much-needed part of pay for working unsociable hours.
"This about real people’s lives and reducing earnings would hurt many hundreds of thousands of West Australian families.
“This decision will first impact people in retail and hospitality industries and flow through to those who care for our elderly, drive our ambulances and deliver essential services after hours.
“Weekend rates are an acknowledgement that working unsociable hours comes at a cost.
"We don’t live in a 24/7 economy, we live in a community where weekends are still meaningful to West Australians providing the only shared time to celebrate with family or friends, enjoy sport or relax.”