ALP defends Spotlight claims, saying all workers will  		lose pay

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ALP defends Spotlight claims, saying all workers will lose pay

The ALP has hit back at media claims that it has exaggerated the effects of the Spotlight AWAs on workers’ pay, saying wage cuts would vary but would affect all employees on the individual agreements.

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The ALP has hit back at media claims that it has exaggerated the effects of the Spotlight AWAs on workers’ pay, saying wage cuts would vary but would affect all employees on the individual agreements.

A newspaper report at the weekend quoted Shop Employees Union national secretary Joe de Bruyn as saying that Spotlight employee Annette Harris would not lose the reported $90 a week once she was put on the AWA, which offered a wage rise of 2 cents an hour.

De Bruyn subsequently appeared on TV news broadcasts saying Spotlight workers would all lose varying amounts, depending on their shifts.

The Labor Party originally estimated that Annette Harris, who works for textile company Spotlight at its Coffs Harbour store, could lose $90 a week.

Penalty rates gone for 2c an hour

Opposition industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith said the amount of the loss is immaterial.

‘Now what Spotlight employees lose under the two cent an hour AWA will vary, whether it’s $30 a week, $40 a week, $50 a week, $60 a week, or $90 a week, what they’ll lose will vary, but they all have one thing in common, for the princely sum of 2 cents an hour their wages will go down,’ he said.

‘Two cents an hour for the sake of losing overtime, penalty rates, leave loadings, public holiday loadings.’

De Bruyn said his union did not ‘resile one bit from what we said about the case.’

‘It is a disgrace. What we find interesting is that while Prime Minister John Howard has defended what the company has done to Annette Harris, we have been able to persuade the company to agree they did the wrong thing by her and restore her to her previous arrangements.’

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