The retail industry union in South Australia is hopeful independent Senator Nick Xenophon will re-think a bill to cut penalty rates for some hospitality and retail workers.
Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) state secretary Peter Malinauskas met with the senator today to put forward the union's opposition to the proposal.
"I shared with Senator Xenophon the views of thousands of South Australian retail workers whose wages would be slashed by the bill he's introduced into parliament," Mr Malinauskas said.
"I am very grateful to Nick for giving me the opportunity to meet with him today and I am very hopeful that, having heard some of the arguments, he will re-think his bill."
Under Senator Xenophon's proposals, businesses with less than 20 staff would not have to pay penalties unless a person had worked more than 38 hours in a seven-day period or worked more than 10 hours in a day.
He said an increasing number of small retail and hospitality businesses had to close on Sundays because they couldn't afford to pay penalty rates to their staff.
"This isn't just debilitating for the businesses, it means that people who want to work on weekends - especially students - are missing out on work," he said in a statement last month.
But Mr Malinauskas said he believed workers deserved higher rates of pay for working Sundays which would otherwise be spent with family and friends.
"Saturdays and Sundays should not be treated like a Tuesday or Thursday and, unfortunately, that's what Senator Xenophon's bill would mean," he said.
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