Greens act on penalty rates; underpaid fast food, retail workers: Bandt

This fortnight, the Greens will move two bills to protect penalty rates, one to stop the Fair Work Commission's cuts from coming into effect and the other to address revelations of underpaid workers at Coles, Woolworths, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks & KFC, said Greens workplace relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt.

Protection of penalty rates

“Parliament can do something useful this fortnight and stop unfair pay cuts to young and low-paid workers,” Mr Bandt said.

“As well-paid MPs responsible for protecting the public interest, we must stand up for the people folding shirts in department stores and serving coffees on Sundays.

“We’re only having a discussion in Parliament about stopping these cuts because last year, while the Opposition Leader was speculating about alien invasions, the Greens were proposing legislation to safeguard people’s penalty rates.

“We’re pleased that Labor has now come on board and I hope that everyone can work together to stop these savage cuts to people’s wages.

"Nick Xenophon, Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch talk big in their home states about standing up for the little person. Now it's time for them to stop being Liberal Party stooges and vote to support people who works on weekends and need penalty rates to make ends meet.

Underpayments in retail, fast food

"If the law allows deals to be done that underpay our lowest paid workers, then the law needs to be fixed."

"When an 18-year-old working nights at McDonald's gets paid less than the legal minimum wage, it hurts that worker but also disadvantages the small business down the road who pays award rates."

"The Greens are taking action this week by introducing a bill into the Senate that will stop enterprise agreements from going below the award rate for nights, weekends and public holidays."

"The Greens’ bill will stop young workers getting ripped off and level the wages playing field for the small businesses competing against fast food chains and big retailers.

"Malcolm Turnbull is suddenly pretending to care about workers at McDonald's and Coles, so now he has a chance to back our bill and show he’s not just crying crocodile tears.

“Malcolm Turnbull and Michaelia Cash can get up in front of a camera and yell about unions, but it won’t put one extra dollar in the pocket of young workers being denied their penalty rates.”

Media contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054

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