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Issue #1804      November 22, 2017

Penalty rates

Club workers hit

United Voice, the hospitality union, has welcomed the announcement by Restaurant & Catering Industrial (RCI) that it will drop attempts to cut Sunday penalty rates for restaurant workers.

The case was to be heard in the Fair Work Commission last week but RCI delivered a statement that they would not be proceeding. At the Fair Work Commission RCI conceded that the current Sunday pay rates are correct and appropriate, and that there will be no need for further review.

Jo-anne Schofield, United Voice national secretary, said, “It was always an unjustified move by the Fair Work Commission to allow RCI to re-litigate their failed attempt to cut Sunday penalty rates in the Restaurant Award from 150% to 125%.

“RCI were rebuffed by the Commission in the penalty rate cut decision earlier this year on the basis that their case had no merit. Their last-minute decision to not pursue the application shows that they knew that their case to cut pay had no merit.

“It is a relief for restaurant workers that their Sunday penalty rates are no longer under attack. It was always perverse that a booming restaurant industry was going on the attack against their workers.”

On the other hand, Clubs Australia continues to attack Australian clubs workers. They remain committed to their attempts to piggyback on to the penalty rate cuts by abolishing the Clubs Award and replacing it with the current Hospitality Industry Award (an Award that was included in the Fair Work Commission’s February 2017 penalty rate cut decision).

The ball is now in Clubs Australia’s court. The successful $12 billion dollar clubs sector also needs to drop their attempts to relitigate their case and stop attacking the pay of clubs workers. “Every weekend and every public holiday, workers in clubs give up time with family and friends to serve their communities,” said Schofield. “They don’t deserve, and can’t afford, a massive cut to their weekend pay rates.”

Next article – Criticism as Australia elected to UN council

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