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Hair Stylists Australia Union Petitions Malcolm Turnbull to Protect Hairdressing Penalty Rates

A hair industry-focused petition has surpassed 5000 signatures, speaking directly to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in order to protect hairdressing penalty rates.

The petition, hosted on union campaign site Megaphone and started by the Hair Stylists Australia union, references weekend pay cuts for retail staff in shops, bars and cafes, and is attempting to protect weekend penalty rates for hairdressers from suffering the same fate. The petition has gained over 5000 signatures at the time of writing, with a submission to be sent in the next week.

“What would you have to give up if your pay was cut by $77 a week?” the petition reads. “Australians who work in shops, bars and cafes are asking themselves that question right now, because their Sunday pay has been cut. Hairdressers are next on the list. Hair Stylists Australia has launched this petition to send a message to Malcolm Turnbull. If you want to protect your pay, sign it now!”

The petition has garnered a strong response from the industry, with the thousands of signatures and written responses referring to long and abnormal hairdressing hours, extended hairdressing education undertaken by salon workers and a belief that hairdressers simply work too hard to accept less pay.

“As salon owners we may be controversial here but we strongly believe that penalty rates should not be cut and we will not be cutting the pay rates of our team if the government does decide to cut the rates,” said Murphy Gozzard salon owners Brett McKinnon and Brett Albury when asked for comment. “This government is too focused on breaks for big corporations at the expense of the workers. We have such a shortage of quality hairdressers and apprentices in our industry right now and we are not going to attract the right people to our industry if we are not paying better and compensate our staff correctly for hours worked.”

It’s a hot topic that’s invigorating the industry one way or another – what’s your opinion about the future of hairdressing penalty rates and the petition itself?

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