Unions call on Marshall to retain popular South Australian part public holidays


The SDA, the Union for retail and fast food workers and United Voice, the Union for hospitality workers have called on Opposition Leader Steven Marshall to come clean on his plans for South Australia’s part-day public holidays.

Retail, fast food and hospitality workers fear the Liberals will scrap the two part-day public holidays which will mean no penalty rates for working or right to voluntary work on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The historic part-day public holidays were introduced in 2012 following a massive campaign led by the SDA and United Voice.

It was opposed by the SA Liberal Party and Steven Marshall called the new public holidays “a pig of a deal.”

A removal of the part-day public holidays would also impact the penalty rates of other industries such as nurses, emergency service workers and police.

Unions are calling on Steven Marshall to respect the 80% of South Australians who support these public holidays and commit to their retention.

“Steven Marshall needs to come clean. Will he follow in the footsteps of Malcolm Turnbull and rip penalty rates away from thousands of South Australian workers or will he commit to keeping these world leading part-day public holidays?” said SDA Assistant Secretary Josh Peak.

“Retail, fast food and hospitality workers deserve to know whether or not Steven Marshall intends to take away their right to take time off to spend with family and friends and their right to penalty rates as compensation for missing out on important occasions if they choose to work,” he said.

United Voice Secretary David Di Troia said the State Liberals need to rule out any further cuts to penalty rates for hospitality workers.

“New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights in hospitality and this year hospitality workers will be paid less for working it after Malcolm Turnbull allowed penalty rate cuts to go through.

“With wage growth at record lows and no evidence of job creation after the penalty rate cuts, for the Liberals to get rid of our part-day public holidays would be a disaster for South Australia.

“It’s not just retail or hospitality. Others in the community will be impacted by this too – our nurses and our police, and that’s why Steven Marshall needs to come clean,” he said.

The SDA and United Voice are running radio ads in the lead up to both part-day public holidays on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to thank South Australians for their support in the creation of these two public holidays.