MEDIA RELEASE – WORKERS LOSE UNDER BAILLIEU’S DRACONIAN LAWS

2 March 2011

The Baillieu Government’s changes to Easter Sunday trading laws could force hundreds of local retail employees in our local area to work without additional pay loading, State Member for Brunswick, Jane Garrett MPsaid.

Jane Garrett said Labor would oppose the Shop Trading Reform Amendment Bill.

“This draconian change will force retail workers to work on Easter Sunday and does not ensure that workers receive penalty rates,” Ms Garrett said.

“Under current laws, larger companies are closed on Easter Sunday which allows smaller family businesses, such as those in our local area the option to shut.”

“It means workers can enjoy a day with friends and family because smaller businesses aren’t compelled to open.

“Mr Baillieu’s changes will allow larger retailers to open and force small businesses to open their doors to remain competitive.”

Jane Garrett said it was Labor who amended the Shop Trading Reform Act in 2003.

“For many Victorians Easter Sunday is a day of religious significance and for others it is a day to enjoy with family and friends,” s/he said.

“For almost a decade, Easter Sunday trading restrictions have protected small businesses and retailers.

“These changes could mean businesses in major shopping centres may be forced to open their doors as part of their lease agreements.

“Labor believes that retail workers should not be forced to work on Easter Sunday without receiving loading beyond ordinary Sunday rates.

“Ted Baillieu is forcing small businesses and retail workers to leave their families on a day of religious and social significance.”

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