Penalty rate rally

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.

• Sally McManus.

“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

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