Some sympathy for penalty rates
A POLL on behalf of United Voice last month revealed more than half the electors in the federal seat of Swan would vote for a candidate who supports penalty rates.
The poll of 765 people was conducted by ReachTEL for the hospitality union. Results show 50.5 per cent of those polled would be less likely to vote for a candidate who does not support penalty rates.
However, just 46.5 per cent opposed cutting penalty rates for people working outside normal hours, including weekends and public holidays.
United Voice WA secretary Carolyn Smith said the poll showed West Australians did not want to see a cut to weekend rates.
“Any cuts to weekend rates will mean a sudden pay cut to hundreds of thousands West Australians who can’t afford it and don’t deserve it,” said Ms Smith. “Weekends still mean something for West Australians.
“For those who serve us in restaurants or shops, care for our elderly or for us in hospitals and for those who protect us, weekends mean work and time away from family. Penalty rates are compensation for this.” WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY: Steve Irons, Liberal The Coalition Government is not going to cut penalty rates. The Coalition appreciates the significance of penalty rates to workers, especially the low paid. The Government’s very firm view is that penalty rates should continue to be set by the independent Fair Work Commission and not the Government. Tammy Solonec, Labor Only Labor will defend penalty rates against the efforts of Mr Turnbull’s Liberals to cut them. We now know that more than 60 members of Mr Turnbull’s team want to cut penalty rates. At a time when we are facing the slowest wages growth on record, Labor supports workers’ penalty rates and will oppose Mr Turnbull’s attempts to cut them. Sarah Nielsen-Harvey, Greens Many people, especially students and young people, rely on penalty rates to survive. Weekend penalty rates, including a higher rate for Sundays, need to be protected. This literally means the difference between make or break for people, and whether they can pay their rent, electricity or water bill on time.