Penalty rates protest targets Brisbane club

A lively crowd of 150 unionists rallied outside the Redlands Sporting Club on 17 November, calling on management to maintain Sunday penalty rates. The snap action was organised by Hospitality United, a new initiative of United Voice involving pub and club employees across Queensland.

The Redlands Sporting Club, as part of Clubs Australia, has made submissions to the Fair Work Commission supporting cuts to weekend and holiday penalty rates. For workers at the Redlands, this means losing up to $110 a week.

As the crowd gathered outside the entrance, general manager Rick Veale attempted to disperse the protesters. He argued that the club could not commit to paying Sunday penalty rates because defying a Fair Work Commission ruling would be illegal. The crowd responded to this asinine claim with chants of “Hands off penalty rates!” and “Hospo united!”.

“Do you reckon the CEO’s going to take a pay cut?”, a speaker asked the crowd as Veale retreated indoors. “We’re not going to cop it. You touch one, you touch all of us!”

Hospitality United is inviting Queensland workers to get involved in the campaign to defend penalty rates by attending its official launch on Monday, 5 December, at 5:00pm, at the Fox Hotel in South Brisbane.