MEDIA RELEASE – BAILLIEU FORCING VICTORIANS TO WORK EASTER SUNDAY FOR LESS PAY

28 March 2011

Premier Ted Baillieu has changed legislation to allow shops to trade on Easter Sunday, forcing thousands of young people to work on a day which has traditionally been one to spend with family and friends, Member for Brunswick, Jane Garrett said today.

Ms Garrett said the Baillieu Government had also rejected Labor’s plan for Easter Sunday to be gazetted as a Victorian public holiday.

“I opposed this law because I believe young retail workers deserve a holiday break like everybody else”, Ms Garrett said.

“Easter Sunday is no ordinary Sunday and Ted Baillieu should not be forcing young people to work for ordinary rates of pay.

“As a member of the State Labor Opposition I fought strongly to make Easter Sunday a public holiday to ensure that Victorian workers would be paid extra money to compensate them for working on a day that might otherwise have been spent with family, friends and the community. But the Baillieu Government chose to reduce workers’ rights by refusing to declare Easter Sunday a public holiday.

“Ted Baillieu is also offering no protection for young people who do not want to work on Easter Sunday. He refuses to provide any safeguards against young people being pressured, harassed or coerced to work on Easter Sunday against their wishes, and was unable to give any guarantee that workers would not be forced to work on Easter Sunday.

Ms Garrett called on young Victorians and their families to fight the Coalition Government’s plan to deny fair wages on Easter Sunday by signing up to Labor’s Fair Pay on Easter Sunday Facebook Page at;

www.facebook.com/FairPayonEasterSunday

“This is on top of other attacks on the rights and entitlements of young workers. Labor will continue to fight against Ted Baillieu’s push to cut the length of minimum shifts from 3 hours to 1.5 hours,” Ms Garrett said.

“This policy will have a dramatic effect on the rights of young workers, and for many, a shift of just 90 minutes is barely enough to cover the cost of getting to and from work. I believe this is a completely unjust attack on the rights of young people, and shows the Baillieu Government’s contempt for workers’ rights.”

For further information, contact Jane Garrett on 9384 1241

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