A worker who stood alongside Opposition leader Bill Shorten protesting the penalty cuts would cost him $109 a week, is a Labor Party member, union figure and won’t lose a dollar from the changes.
The Fair Work Commission (FWC) decided to reduce penalty rates for some Sunday shifts in retail, hospitality and fast food.
The decision was met with fury by the union movement and the Labor party.
Sydney man Trent Hunter stepped up with Mr Shorten and Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor to humanise the cost of the commission’s decision.
"Ny name is Trent Hunter. I am a retail worker… I rely on Sunday penalty rates… I will now lose $109 a week." – Trent #auspol
— Australian Labor (@AustralianLabor) February 23, 2017
“I am gutted, It is such a disgrace, I do not accept the decision as a retail worker,” Mr Hunter said.
“I rely on Sunday penalty rates. I am rostered on every single Sunday.
“I will now lose $109 a week, that is insane. I rely on the penalty rates to make ends meet and to pay for my fuel, my rent and to pay for my food.”
But supermarket giant Coles contacted the ABC on Thursday afternoon to say Mr Hunter was one of their employees.
“Store team members at Coles are employed under an enterprise agreement and therefore are unaffected by today’s decision.”
The news sparked a swift reaction on social media.
— Put Labor Last (@PutLaborLast) February 23, 2017
— Left In Limbo (@Left_in_Limbo) February 23, 2017
— Roland Jamez محص (@RolandJamez) February 23, 2017
Former Labor leader Mark Latham suggested Mr Hunter should be in the running for an Oscar.
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) February 23, 2017
When the ABC has contacted Mr Hunter for comment, his phone went straight to voicemail.
But Mr Shorten’s office confirmed Mr Hunter is an ALP member.
“Hundreds of thousands of workers will be worse off because of cuts to penalty rates — that’s a fact,” a spokesman for Mr Shorten said in response to the assertion from Coles.
It was not the first time Mr Hunter has appeared at Labor events.
He has posted numerous photos on his social media profiles campaigning for the party, including snaps with western Sydney MP Emma Husar and Mr Shorten.
It is understood some within Labor recognise the error of using Mr Hunter in the nationally televised press conference.
– with ABC