MORE than 500 people gathered at Cotton Tree on Sunday to celebrate the achievement of the union movement, but Queensland Council of Unions Sunshine Coast president Dan Bessell said there were new challenges to face, like the reduction in penalty rates for the retail and hospitality industries.
From July 1 public holiday penalty rates under the retail, fast food, restaurant, hospitality and pharmacy awards will be reduced, along with evening penalty rates under some awards.
Sunday penalty rates are set to be reduced too, but a start date has not been set for that change yet.
"It's a disgrace," Mr Bessell said.
"The people they're taking the money off are the lowest-paid workers in our society.
"This government continually attacks the smallest and weakest people in society and gives tax breaks to the banks and big business."
The Queensland Council of Unions is campaigning to protect penalty rates.
Mr Bessell said the council was urging businesses not to cut their staff's wages when the changes come into effect, and "naming and shaming" those who did.
"We're asking clubs and venues whether or not they'll drop the penalty rates," he said
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