Unions to fight hospitality, retail penalty rate cuts in court today

The Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers will be the focus of a Federal Court hearing today.

Unions are challenging the commission’s controversial decision to drop Sunday rates by five percentage points for workers in the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy sectors.

One of the unions, United Voice, is fighting to keep employees penalty rates the same for both Sundays and Public Holidays, saying the cuts are likely to affect lowest paid workers the most.


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“What we’ll be arguing in the Federal Court is that the commission, in making the decision to cut pay, has failed in its obligation to uphold the living standards of Australian workers,” United Voice National Secretary Jo-Anne Schofield said.

The hearing is expected to go for three days in Melbourne’s Federal Court.