CFMEU Luka Kauzlaric

CFMEU stand up to penalty rates

QUEENSLAND Council of Unions are playing the waiting game before acting in their fight against proposed cuts to penalty rates.

The Morning Bulletin understands 11,500 workers in Capricornia will be directly affected by the Turnbull Government's "Fair Go” policy.

QCU's Craig Allen said for now, waiting was the best move.

"We are communicating with other unions to determine our course of action over this campaign,” Mr Allen said.

"It is a grim reality and we will not let this go unnoticed. We are ready to lock and load.

"We are waiting for the official outcome, then there is an appeal process.”

Mr Allen applauded the stance already taken by one Central Queensland business who is ignoring slashing penalty rates for their workers.

READ: Yeppoon Central Meats refused to cut their staff's weekend rates and received enormous social media backing.

"I would absolutely support these businesses in our community who will make a stand and not cut penalty rates,” he said.

"A large percentage of the community do not support these cuts. It is a mean-spirited thing to do to workers.

"They need the money. Most them are not wealthy people and just get by and survive.

"A lot of them are kids, uni students who need the money. We are right behind any local business.”

Mr Allen's strong comments come following the CFMEU decision to man the trenches alongside Australian workers.

CFMEU said it would "shoulder arms” in an attempt to stop the war on fair go.

It cited a list of grievances:

  • Over the Christmas period, 330,000 pensions were cut.
  • Last month the Government began targeting 1.2 million recipients of government support, most notably people with a disability.
  • The new building code will slash the number of apprentices, destroy workplace safety and put more exploited visa workers on worksites whilst cutting jobs.
  • And last week the pay of 700,000 mainly young Australians was cut by up to $6000.

QCU's Craig Allen slams penalty rate cuts.
QCU's Craig Allen slams penalty rate cuts. Chris Ison ROK020516cmay17

"This war on battlers must end,” CFMEU National Secretary Michael O'Connor said.

"The war on the fair go must stop. The CFMEU is today declaring that it will not stand by and watch these attacks without response.

"While Australian workers, pensioners, people with a disability, the unemployed and young workers are having their livelihoods attacked, the Government continues to push for a $50 billion tax cut for business.

"They refuse to do anything about the fact that 670 of Australia's richest companies pay no tax at all.

"The CFMEU stands ready to fight.”

The CFMEU will use every ounce of its political and industrial capacity to defend Australian workers under attack from this Government.

"Where the fight back takes place, wherever there is a picket, a rally, a campaign....whatever it is you will see us there standing shoulder to shoulder with those under attack.”

On Monday, The Morning Bulletin received hundreds of comments on to a story a penalty rates.

Joanne Coulter posed the question whether nurses should be included in the cuts.

"Nurses who sometimes do three different shifts in a, evening and night shift. They might get home at midnight and expect to be back at work by 6.10am,” she wrote.

Local Emma Loader will not support businesses who cut their worker's pay. "I know I for 1 will not be shopping anywhere on a Sunday knowing workers aren't being paid a fair wage.”

Stacey Lancaster argued "Shops that couldn't afford to open cos of penalty rates charge a surcharge on Sunday's and public holidays and guess what, we still go to them.”

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