SHORTFALL: Coles has left some workers out of pocket. Photo: Attila Csaszar

No-one wins from low-pay deals

Penalty rates may be the bane of small businesses everywhere, but for now, at least, employers are legally obliged to pay them.

During a trip to the US some years back, I was invited to a rooftop spa party with a group of young, up-and-coming professionals.


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Small business is the best hope for many of these disadvantaged people. But the truth is, both the unions and the the major chains have a common objective, ie: the marginalisation and ultimate removal of small business from the marketplace. And despite the fluffy speaches from both sides of politics, it suits them as well. Small business is too diverse and scattered for them to get a handle on and control. Business organisations, if they truly believe in small business (and I am yet to be convinced) could say a lot more, if they had the courage to stand up to major chains and their political buddies.

Perth,Western Australia
Try the flat rate in the mining and engineering industries which have been ubiquitous for years now along with permanent casualisation since the early 90's, at least here in WA. Along with 14 hour days, except when there's a lull, then its eff off back home until we call you again, or if you're "permanent" and stuck in a poor company house in a village on the edge of a desert doing 4&1, then get 40 hours shoveling crap and "What? Your family needs? Ahhaahhaaa..."

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