Leave penalty rates for work­ers alone

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Opinion -

Melissa Price’s sup­port for changes to penalty rates for work­ers in the Durack elec­torate is dis­ap­point­ing.

It is with much dis­may that the mem­ber who has been elected to be the voice of those liv­ing in Durack wishes to pro­mote such a move that will re­duce the qual­ity of liv­ing for ev­ery­day work­ing Aus­tralians — all to ben­e­fit busi­ness prof­its.

I would like to re­mind Ms Price and the com­pa­nies and busi­ness she is at­tempt­ing to pro­tect that if th­ese hard-work­ing vic­tims of the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­tries do not earn enough to have a dis­pos­able in­come to dine out, utilise fa­cil­i­ties or pur­chase lux­ury prod­ucts, it will be to the detri­ment of the wider com­mu­nity.

Re­duced oc­cu­pancy in venues will see the need for staffing drop, and fam­i­lies will fur­ther lose in­come from busi­nesses try­ing to save a dol­lar.

To fur­ther rub salt into the wounds of hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers, there are no talks of dis­man­tling the laws that al­low restau­rants, cafes and bistros to charge ex­tra on pub­lic hol­i­days, which would be ef­fec­tively dou­ble dip­ping if penalty rates were de­creased.

At a time when all ef­forts should be placed on di­ver­si­fy­ing in­dus­tries and en­cour­ag­ing growth, cut­ting penalty rates does not make hos­pi­tal­ity look more ap­peal­ing for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment.

Penalty rates for low-paid work­ers are not the is­sue, nor is pro­tect­ing the prof­its of busi­ness — your job, Ms Price, is to look af­ter the whole elec­torate that you were voted in to rep­re­sent.

In­stead of at­tack­ing the in­come of those in your elec­torate, what are you go­ing to do to im­prove or fix the many is­sues you have cho­sen to ig­nore?

Maybe en­sur­ing lo­cal peo­ple get jobs, rather than FIFO work­ers, and mak­ing sure lo­cal busi­nesses win con­tracts, rather than Perth or East­ern States com­pa­nies, would be a good start.

Kar­ratha La­bor Party mem­bers

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