Unions question show costs

SHOW HOLIDAY: Hunter Workers says businesses complaining about the cost of a show holiday are forgetting other sacrifices made by employees. Picture: SIMONE DE PEAK.HUNTER employeeswere donating up to$3 billion a year inunpaid overtime and deserved a Newcastle Show holiday, Hunter Workers secretary Daniel Wallace said on Sunday.

Mr Wallacewas responding to Newcastle Show Association’s decisionto backthe city’s business community and withdraw its request for a Friday public holiday for the 2016 show.

COSTS BOTH WAYS: Hunter Workers secretary Daniel Wallace.

He said a recentreport by the Australia Institute showed full-time workers typically doingsix hours overtimea week, with part-timers doing four hours.This meant the Hunter’s 300,000-strong workforce was losing about$3 billion a year.

“Business likes to highlightthe costs of the holiday but it’s a dark picture when it comes to the cost burden borne by workers,” Mr Wallace said.“It’s time for employers to look at the bigger picture if we are to get the work-life balance right.”

Hunter Workers is the new name for the region’s peak union body,Newcastle Trades Hall Council.