Bass Labor MP Ross Hart and Labor Senator Helen Polley join Opposition Employment Minister Brendan O'Connor calling on penalty rate cut reversal

PAY CHANGE: Bass MP Ross Hart, retail worker Ruby Wallace and federal Opposition Employment Minister Brendan O'Connor as Labor talk up the penalty rates decision. Picture: Scott Gelston.
PAY CHANGE: Bass MP Ross Hart, retail worker Ruby Wallace and federal Opposition Employment Minister Brendan O'Connor as Labor talk up the penalty rates decision. Picture: Scott Gelston.

Launceston retail employee Ruby Wallace felt like she’d received ‘a kick in the guts’ when she heard about the Productivity Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates.

Miss Wallace juggles two casual jobs with part-time study at UTAS.

“Uni is already stressful, so having less time will impact on me hugely. It feels like a kick in the guts [when] you are already a low income earner,” she said.

She works most Sundays and said she relied on them to boost her paycheck to help her balance her study.

Opposition Employment Minister Brendan O’Connor met with Ruby and other employees on Wednesday.

He was joined by Member for Bass Ross Hart and Labor Senator Helen Polley to call on the government to support Labor’s private members bill, to be introduced in Parliament on Monday. Mr O’Connor said Labor’s concern was more awards, such as the restaurant and hairdressing awards would be next. The bill will move to reverse the changes and to ensure future decisions will not allow wage cuts.