Greens push to end mass wage underpayment by closing legal loophole

Greens Employment & Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today moved in Parliament to protect the pay of some of the lowest-paid Australians by closing legal loopholes that have allowed big fast food retailers and supermarket giants to strike deals with the SDA and underpay workers by over a billion dollars. Mr Bandt introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Pay Protection) Bill 2016 into the House of Representatives this morning and called on Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull to back the bill.

“An 18 year-old working nights at McDonalds shouldn't be getting paid less than the legal minimum wage. If the law allows deals to be done that underpay our lowest paid workers, then the law needs to be fixed,” Mr Bandt said.

“These huge corporations are not short of a quid. At a very minimum they can afford to pay the basic legal minimum to people working late at night or on weekends.”

“I expect Labor and Liberal to support this bill, because the basic principle that an employer shouldn't be able to pay someone less than the legal minimum wage is unobjectionable.”

“I hope that the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations that Labor and Liberal have received from these corporations will not prevent them getting on board and supporting the bill.”

Fairfax Media investigations have revealed workers being systematically paid less than the award at Coles, Woolworths, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC. It has been estimated that these companies are collectively paying about $1 million a day less than the award.

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

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