Unions NSW says while the wealthy members and executives of the NSW Business Chamber are at home with their families enjoying their Easter eggs this weekend, thousands of workers in scores of industries will be on the job, spending the day away from their loved ones.

Unions NSW Assistant Secretary Mark Morey says workers kept away from their families this Easter deserve to be properly remunerated and are well and truly earning their penalty rates.

“ This issue is bigger than simply arguing that you can’t get a cup of coffee on a holiday weekend,” Mr Morey said.

“It diminishes the standing of the Chamber to run such a misleading campaign.  Perhaps the Business Chamber should stop being a sideshow act and get into the main game,” he said.

“We know businesses state they are happy to pay penalty rates when they want to remove restricted trading hours but once they get the exemption they then seek to attack penalty rates.  They can’t have it both ways.” 

Mr Morey said the campaign being waged by the NSW Business Chamber against penalty rates was designed to divert attention away from the structural problems in the nation and state economies overseen by Liberal Governments. 

”What we know is over the last 30 years the number of hours people are working has significantly increased; the share of national income as wages has fallen dramatically from 75% in 1985 to less than 60% in 2012 meaning the people at the top of the pile are getting more while the rest of us are getting less,” Mr Morey said.

“And workplace productivity is continuing to increase while real wages have not kept pace with this.”

Mr Morey reminded workers to check their pay packets after Easter to make sure the had been paid the appropriate penalty rate for working over the weekend.

He said workers who suspected they had been short changed should speak to their employers, and their union.

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