Labor zeroes in on wages and costs

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Shelley Payne
Camera IconShelley Payne

Shelley Payne has vowed to tackle wage growth and curb the cost of living in O’Connor if elected.

The Australian Labor Party candidate targeted reducing childcare costs, reversing penalty rates cuts and legislating for pay increases in female-dominated industries.

“People have told me this election is about wages,” she said.

“Since 2016, company profits have gone up 39 per cent, but wages have gone up just 5 per cent.”

Reversing penalty rate cuts for part-time and casual workers has been a key promise for the ALP since 2017, after a ruling by the Fair Work Commission found reducing penalty rates would boost trade on Sundays and public holidays.

Under the changes, Sunday rates for full and part-time workers in retail, hospitality, fast-food and pharmacies dropped by between 15 and 25 per cent.

Casual rates dropped by between 12 and 14 per cent for retail, fast food and pharmacy employees.

Ms Payne said the cuts left some workers more than $290 worse off over long weekends.

“Many local workers have no choice but to go to work over (long weekends) in order to put food on the table and pay the bills —they deserve penalty rates,” she said.

According to the 2016 Census, more than 10 per cent of employed people in Albany aged over 15 worked in sales.

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