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Push to cut penalty rates because of COVID-19 slammed by unions

Article image for Push to cut penalty rates because of COVID-19 slammed by unions

A push for weekend and evening penalty rates to be scrapped to help keep small businesses alive has been branded “opportunism” by union officials.

The Franchise Council of Australia is calling for the rates to be scrapped.

But Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, told Tom Elliott it would not keep people employed in a post COVID-19 lockdown world.

“What we’re seeing here is some opportunism at a time when the community is supposed to be looking at what’s in the best interest of all of us,” he said.

“Cutting penalty rates is a little bit like believing in fairies at the end of the garden.

“Every time this has ever been analysed, by universities, or serious economists, the fact is cutting penalty rates creates zero jobs.

“In fact, it’s most likely it will actually reduce jobs.”

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