24 hours after pledging to protect the pay and working conditions of Commonwealth cleaners, the Government has secretly cut their pay.
Yesterday, the Government agreed to an Opposition amendment to ensure the legislative basis of the Commonwealth Cleaning Services guidelines. These guidelines protect the pay and working conditions of Commonwealth cleaners.
It has now been reported, yesterday while the bill was being debated, the Government secretly abolished regulatory guidelines, reducing the minimum wage of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers from $22.02 to $17.49 per-hour.
Cleaners who spent yesterday afternoon celebrating the fact that their pay would not be cut have today been left shocked by these cruel actions.
Shadow Finance Minister and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke said: “The Government has set a new low with actions that are deceptive, sneaky and arrogant.”
“We have a government relishing in slashing the pay and working conditions of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers,” Mr Burke said.
“This Government will never stand up for the pay and working conditions of low and middle-income earners, but Labor will. We will continue to stand against this Government’s unfair actions.
“The sneaky and underhanded way Senator Abetz has cut the salaries of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers shows all the hallmarks of this cruel and unfair Government.
Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Brendan O’Connor said it was no surprise the Government was hiding its real intentions for workplace laws.
“With the most unfair budget in living memory still strong in people’s minds, the Government has so far refused to release the details of its sweeping Productivity Commission review of workplace laws in Australia,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The Government refuses to release the terms of reference for the review because it will confirm workers' worst fears - that every condition and entitlement is up for grabs.”