Yeppoon Central Meats has gained big community support by vowing not to cut staff penalty rates.
Yeppoon Central Meats has gained big community support by vowing not to cut staff penalty rates.

Facebook stars: Coast butchers surprised by 'insane' support not to cut penalty rates

UPDATE 11.15am: The co-owner of Yeppoon Central Meats says she's been blown away by social media support for the business after the call not to cut penalty rates.

Katie Kona, who owns the butchers with her husband Zen (pictured below), said the level of support had been "crazy” since she made a post about 6am yesterday.

Katie and Zen Kona from Yeppoon Central Meats.
Katie and Zen Kona from Yeppoon Central Meats. Chris Ison ROK170813cyeppoonrace

"It's insane, I didn't expect it to go viral,” Katie told The Morning Bulletin.

She said she and Zen both agreed not to make any cuts at their store after they first heard about the Fair Work Commission's ruling to slash rates.

READ: Unions take to streets as Sunday penalty rates cut.

READ: Rocky worker says penalty rate cut is 'laughable'.

"It was the first thing we thought after we heard the news on television,” Katie said.

"These are our staff. They have families. They are all fathers and they rely on these rates.

"We have managed to afford these rates for the eight years we've run the business.”

She said the business employed seven staff.

Katie's big fear is that the cuts will lead to people spending less locally.

She said cutting people's pay would reduce their local spend which would, in time, hurt small businesses.

She said she hadn't been advised if the cuts would be enforced for the business, but thought a butchery would be classed as retail.

Katie said she respected the right of other businesses to make the right call for them, but she urged bosses to be fair.

"We knew people had some opinions about this issue,” Katie said.

"But I've been very surprised by how much support we've been shown.”

EARLIER: A YEPPOON butchers has taken on social media hero status after a Facebook post supporting its workers.

A post on the Yeppoon Central Meats Facebook page promises the company will not cut staff's weekend penalty rates.

It has received more than 2.6k likes, been shared 1000 times and has more than 150 comments of support in just 24 hours.

Many of the posts congratulate the company's management for its pro-active stance.

Earlier this week, a decision by the Fair Work Commission determined to cut standard hourly Sunday and public holiday rates for workers across a number of employment sectors, including hospitality and retail.

Yeppoon Central Meats has gained big community support by vowing not to cut staff penalty rates.
Yeppoon Central Meats has gained big community support by vowing not to cut staff penalty rates.

"Yeppoon Central Meats will NOT be cutting our staffs penalty rates!,” the post reads.

"We are a 7 day a week family owned retail business with staff that rely on their penalty rates to pay their mortgages, school fees, bills and to put food on their tables.

"Staff are people too and are the back bone of our business, without them we have no business.

"Unfortunately these pay cuts will have a butterfly effect across all businesses as people will have less of their pay to spend

"SUPPORT LOCAL and we will support you.”

In responding to some comments on the post, the butchers said: "We do understand that other businesses do struggle with weekend rates.

"We support all businesses with their decisions regarding this as long as they do it with best regards for their business and not for self gratification.

"We lose money on public holidays too unfortunately which does make things hard but we always pull through which we are thankful for.”

One comment said: "We own a 7 day a week retail business where we have no choice but to open 7 days a week.”



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