NRA: Labor’s attempt to overturn penalty rates a “desperate political stunt”

parliamentThe National Retail Association (NRA) has slammed Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s calls to overturn changes to Sunday penalty rates.

Shorten introduced a bill early this week to reverse the decision by the independent Fair Work Commission (FWC) across five awards.

“The independent Fair Work Commission spent two years consulting with stakeholders across the retail sector before handing down their decisions,” said NRA CEO Dominique Lamb,

“After receiving evidence from 143 witnesses and almost 6000 submissions, the FWC came to a very sensible compromise regarding Sunday penalty rates that reflected the current economic environment in retail

Lamb also pointed out it was the Opposition who created the FWC as part of the Rudd government’s reforms to industrial relations in Australia, while Shorten was finance minister, noting it was “hypocritical for them to be using the federal parliament to perform populist stunts such as this.”

“It is disappointing that the Opposition is attacking the FWC decision in a desperate attempt to score some cheap political points.”

“The NRA respects all decisions handed down by the FWC, including ones we disagree with, and we call on the Opposition to do the same.”

Last week, Opposition workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor said the prime minister often tried to tell his own “log cabin story” of financial hardship during his childhood while wages for Australian workers remained stagnant.

From next month workers in the restaurant, hospitality, pharmacy, fast-food and retail industries will lose some of their penalty rates following the Fair Work Commission decision last year.

Labor says the 2018 cuts would exceed those of 2017.

Access exclusive analysis, locked news and reports with Inside Retail Weekly. Subscribe today and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.