The SDA has vowed to continue the fight to protect penalty rates for over 700,000 retail and fast food workers despite a Federal Court ruling upholding the Fair Work Commission decision that slashed Sunday and public holiday pay rates.
The SDA and United Voice had argued that the Fair Work Commission decision had not considered, and acted within, the proper ambit of its powers in connection with the Modern Awards Review, and that the decision was both unjust and unreasonable.
Unfortunately, while the Federal Court acknowledged that low paid workers would be adversely impacted by this decision, and that no transitional implementation would offset this prejudice, ultimately no legal error was identified to overturn the Fair Work Commission decision.
SDA Secretary Sonia Romeo said that while the Federal Court’s decision was devastating for workers and their families, it did not undermine the Union’s resolve to continue the fight to restore the take home pay of some of the lowest paid workers in Australia.
“We are disappointed that the Federal Court has not sided with the SDA and United Voice in our bid to overturn the Fair Work Commission decision to cut the pay of some of the country’s lowest paid workers.”
“But the battle does not end here. Over 700,000 hard working Australians who rely on their penalty rates to make end meet, have had their pay cut.”
“Our workplace laws are broken, it’s time to change the rules to restore penalty rates and stop workers from having their take-home pay cut.”
“Australian’s like Tania, a mother of three and retail worker from NSW, need their Sunday penalty rates to buy food and put petrol in the car.”
“For her, and thousands of Australians just like her, we need to win this battle to protect take home pay.”
Ms Romeo also said that once penalty rates were slashed for retail, hospitality and fast food workers, penalty rates for over 4 million Australians would be next under threat.
“In addition to slashing take home pay for retail and fast food workers, business lobby groups are already moving to attack the pay and conditions of hairdressers. If they are successful there is no doubt that the penalty rates for over 4 million Australians will next be on the chopping block.”
“Malcolm Turnbull and his Government have publicly supported these pay cuts for some of the country’s lowest paid workers, and they will be held responsible.”