Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley is calling on the Turnbull Government and the Tasmanian Liberal’s to take up Labor’s offer to work in a bipartisan way to protect the wages of thousands of weekend workers.

“If Malcolm Turnbull learnt anything from the 2016 Federal Election result he must accept our invitation to protect Tasmanians who rely on penalty rates,” Senator Polley said.

“Reducing penalty rates would have a devastating effect on the Tasmanian community and economy.”

Tasmanian Secretary of the SDA, Paul Griffin says there is real concern in the community from hospitality and retail workers about a cut to their penalty rates.

“A cut to workers penalty rates means families are forced to compromise on the family budget, whether they can afford a new school uniform or a trip to the movies,” Mr Griffin said.

“Those who rely on penalty rates to make ends meet are amongst the lowest paid workers in the country. The Turnbull Government needs to listen to what these people are saying -they do not want to see cuts to penalty rates,”

“Former Liberal MP for Bass, Andrew Nikolic was renowned for ignoring his constituents and was on the record for supporting cuts to penalty rates and we all saw how that ended,” Senator Polley added.

Workers in Bass alone could be $12.4 million worse off per year due to a partial cut in penalty rates.

Despite campaigning for the last two months on ‘jobs and growth’, the Liberals do not have a jobs plan and unemployment is rising.

Everything on their agenda has been about attacking pay, work and conditions – a stark contrast between Labor, who will do everything in our power to protect penalty rates for all working Australians.

Labor is ready and willing to work with the Turnbull Government to secure a fairer, more equitable employment market.

All eyes are on the Turnbull Government to see whether they are prepared to act in the interests of lower paid workers, or whether they continue to favour the big end of town.