MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Claims by the Abbott Government that it doesn’t support the push by employers to cut penalty rates, and reduce the minimum wage, are nothing more than a bid to boost electoral support for the NSW Liberal Government.

Mr Lennon said Tony Abbott was hell bent on reducing workers’ entitlements through legislation and it was beyond belief that his government would suddenly reverse its opposition to penalty rates. 

“Voters should not be deceived -- the attack on penalty rates and the minimum wage were key factors in the Victoria, QLD and South Australian elections so this is clearly a ploy by Tony Abbott seeking to protect NSW Premier Mike Baird from the same fate,” said Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon.

“Don’t be fooled by this from a Prime Minster who said there would be no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no cuts to SBS or ABC. Once the election is over if the Libs get back in you can be sure the cuts to penalty rates will be back on the agenda federally and in NSW,” he said.

Mr Lennon said if the Liberals were so keen to protect the income of workers, NSW Premier Mike Baird and his Liberal Party colleague Tony Abbott should each make submissions to the Fair Work Commission and Productivity Commission to ensure penalty rates are protected.

Mr Lennon said Tony Abbott’s record on slashing workers’ rights is well known but Mike Baird’s track record is just as bad.

“The NSW Liberal Government has cut 15,000 public sector jobs, attacked the industrial rights of its workforce and abolished our independent umpire while also slashing workers’ compensation for all workers in NSW,” Mr Lennon said.

“The Liberals are no friends of the working people of NSW.”

Media comment Mark Lennon 0427231800

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