Public sends a strong penalty rates message | story photos and videos

THE public has spoken and the vast majority of people who participated in a penalty rates survey want them to stay.

A total of 2586 people, when asked whether Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis should vote to support/protect penalty rates, signed ‘yes’ keep the rates, while six people signed not to keep the rates.

South Coast Labour Council Secretary Arthur Rorris suggested the Member for Gilmore should listen to her electorate.

“Thousands of people across Ann Sudmalis’ electorate have told us they want her to fight for their penalty rates,” Mr Rorris said.

“Mrs Sudmalis must represent the interests of her constituents and vote against any proposal by the Turnbull Government to cut wages.”

The Federal Government maintains they did not make the decision to cut rates and are just following a Fair Work Commission ruling. 

Mr Rorris, joined by group of protestors, presented survey results to Mrs Sudmalis recently and a heated conversation then took place.

Mrs Sudmalis was questioned several times where she stood on the penalty rates issues.

“You stop right now,” she said to a protester when she was accused of not telling the truth.

The exchange had heated words and finger pointing as both parties tried to get their points across.

Survey passed over

Mrs Sudmalis was asked if she was calling on business to keep their penalty rates?

“Look I would encourage anyone if they feel that this is not the right action then that is exactly what they should do,” she said.

She said workers under a Labour government had their penalty rates already cut in 2010.

“So it’s ok when Bill does (Bill Shorten) but not when anyone else does it,” she said.

“Not one of you (directed to the protestors) objected to it at the time - did you – did you,” she loudly repeated several times.

Mr Rorris said the rates had to stay or people would suffer.

“Many low paid workers face underemployment, insecure and casual work, short term contracts and non-standard hours; penalty rates must stay so these people can have fair pay for a decent life,” he said.