THUNDEROUS chants of “Stand Up, Fight Back” echoed throughout Forrest Place on Monday as protesters mobilised an emotionally-charged demonstration against penalty rate cuts and casualisation of the workforce.
Sally McManus, secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, captivated the boisterous crowd with a passionate speech that described big corporations as “criminal” for underpaying workers and evading taxes.
“Too much wealth and too much power has gone to the top,” Ms McManus said.
“They just go about breaking the laws and avoiding the laws that our parents and our great-grandparents have built.
“So when they don’t like our tax laws they just ignore them, or they get around them.
“We will not accept a society where rules are written just for the rich.
“We will lead a movement, a fight to bring fairness back to Australia.”
The rally follows last month’s controversial announcement by the Fair Work Commission to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time workers in hospitality, retail and fast-food.
The commission justified the decision by stating the cuts allow businesses to employ more weekend staff.
by JASMINE KAZLAUSKAS