Five reasons why I won’t be working Sundays after July 1st
As of this Sunday, up to a million workers will have their penalty rates cut by 25 to 50 per cent after the Fair Work Commission agreed to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for hospitality, restaurant, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers. As most students will agree, this will be a huge change to our already minimal cash flow. Due to pent up anger, I’ve complied a rant-list of five reasons why I won’t be working on Sundays after July 1st.
To support my fellow retailers
The penalty rates effect ALL of us. It’s the young people with rent and bills to pay for, it’s the nursing students with $200 textbooks to purchase, it’s people like you and me who will ultimately suffer when the penalty cuts come into effect. Those who were lucky enough to work Sundays will be losing around $6000 a year.
Sunday is our time
After studying full-time all week with assignments, work and keeping a social life in between, Sunday is the one day where we can spend time with our family, catch up on some homework or simply relax before we start the next week. The whole reason we give up our sleep-ins is to get that extra cash that will cover most of our expenses for the following week.
One of the reasons shops open on Sundays is for people who work nine-to-five weekday shifts who have no time during the week to shop. If retailers refuse to work Sundays, the stores will be seriously under staffed, customers won’t get good customer service, the business will suffer and those customers won’t want to come back. So really, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep the rates the same!
To make a statement
Retail, fast food, pharmacy and hospitality workers work extraordinary hours and deserve to be compensated for working on weekends and late nights when the vast majority of the Australian workforce does not. Students aren’t the one ones who’ll suffer, but families across Australia relying on penalty rates to put food on the table and keep households afloat in difficult times will struggle. Slashing the penalty rates will cause unnecessary stress and financial strain on the people giving up their Sundays. By refusing to work, we are making a bold statement: this is not OK.
What's the point?
There is really no point in giving up the precious time you have with your family and friends to work for a company who does not respect the time you are giving up for them. Big businesses will always look out for themselves, regardless of how long you’ve worked for the company. If they do not respect you enough to pay you the penalty rates after working unsociable hours, then what is the point of giving up your Sunday at all?
Join the union
The Retail and Fast Food Worker's Union is a member-driven union fighting for and protecting the pay and rights of workers in the retail and fast food sectors. Unions deliver outcomes such as: weekends, safe workplaces and penalty and overtime rates for working unsociable hours.
However, in the fast food and retail sectors, many of the weeknight, weekend, shift and overtime penalty rates have been traded away for hardly any return. Find a fighting union to stand up and take back the penalty rates.
Sophie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon.