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Issue #1864      April 10, 2019

Fight for penalty rates

The union representing workers from industries including hospitality, aged care, security and manufacturing has launched a massive, multi-million dollar campaign against the Liberal-National government’s cuts to penalty rates.

The United Voice union campaign will run nationally across TV, radio, print and online media, and will be reinforced on the ground by coordinated national actions, door knocking and phone calls to sway voters in target seats.

The campaign highlights Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Coalition government’s terrible record on penalty rates, with the ads asking voters to consider ‘who is next’ in the spotlight for penalty rate cuts.

United Voice national secretary Jo-anne Schofield says Morrison needs to realise that millions of Australian families rely on penalty rates, “Scott Morrison and the Liberal-National government have already cut penalty rates for hundreds of thousands of retail and hospitality workers.

“Now, Scott Morrison, his government and greedy business groups are looking at who is next. Everyone who gets paid extra for working evenings, nights, weekends or public holidays stands to lose. No one’s penalty rates are safe under a Morrison Coalition government.”

The union says it will be talking to voters in target seats every day until the election about the government’s atrocious record on penalty rates. Scott Morrison has voted eight times already to cut penalty rates, he can’t be trusted.

Just this month United Voice defeated a years-long attempt to cut penalty rates for 42,000 clubs workers.

“Working people shouldn’t be forced through expensive, drawn out court battles just to stay afloat and avoid a pay cut,” Schofield said.

The campaign is being launched in the marginal electorate of Dickson, in northern Brisbane, where the Liberal Party’s Peter Dutton holds the seat by less than 2 percent.

The TV ads warn, “Millions of Australians rely on penalty rates to make ends meet. The Liberals and Nationals voted to cut the penalty rates of hospitality and retail workers. Now they’re looking at whose penalty rates they’re cutting next. Will it be health workers and nurses? Their penalty rates make up to 20% of their income. Or will it be manufacturing workers? Or emergency workers? Or will it be you?”

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