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July 19, 2017

Shadow Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor was today joined by Labor Senator for Queensland Murray Watt to meet with the owner of The Fastlane Drive-Thru Coffee, a small business in Rockhampton that has decided to maintain penalty rates for its employees.

Despite cuts to penalty rates kicking in for up to 700,000 workers in the retail, hospitality, fast food and pharmacy sector, owner of The Fastlane Drive-Thru Coffee, Patti Mules has put her staff first, refusing to cut staff penalty rates.

“I appreciate my staff and they are great workers. If they are going to take time on the weekend and work for me, then they shouldn’t suffer for that”, said Patti Mules.

In the electorate of Capricornia in Queensland, there are up to 11 508 retail and hospitality workers who face having their take-home pay cut.

Local Member Michelle Landry has campaigned for cuts to weekend penalty rates – and Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t lifted a finger to stop these cuts from coming into effect. 

Because of Malcolm Turnbull and Michelle Landry, workers in Rockhampton will receive a pay cut every 1 July until 2020.

Labor will continue to fight to protect penalty rates for Australian workers every day until the next election, and we won’t let the Turnbull Government get away with this assault on the wages of low paid Australians.

A Shorten Labor Government will reverse these pay cuts – and make sure it can’t happen again.

Labor’s legislation will reverse the recent decision to cut penalty rates and also change the law to protect the overall take-home pay of working Australians.

Michelle Landry and her LNP colleagues could stop the cuts to penalty rates if they crossed the floor and voted with Labor. But, she refuses.

Ms Landry must stand up for Capricornia, or stand by as our local workers and economy suffer.

When wages are declining in real terms, there could not be a worse time to cut the wages of up to 700,000 Australian workers.

There is a clear choice at the next election. A vote for Bill Shorten and Labor is a vote for decent wages and fair penalty rates. A vote for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals is a vote for lower wages.