Margarita Murray-Stark was the hotel cleaner which the Australian Labor Party used as their representative in their campaign against government penalty rate cuts, is apparently a union branch executive member.
Ms. Murray-Stark, one of many office cleaners in Melbourne, proverbially lit the parliament on fire last March 30, with Malcolm Turnbull questioning the justifications behind Bill Shorten’s claims that Ms. Strak’s pay, and the pay of many others, would be reduced because of a decision made by Shorten, which changes the rulings on penalty rates.
Ms. Murray-Stark’s attendance in Canberra was made possible by United Voice, one of the biggest benefactors of the ALP, known for having donated over $1.7M to ALP branches across Australia.
The Labor MP, one Lisa Chesters, was previously UV’s lead organizer for 10 years, detailed to Parliament Ms. Murray-Stark’s work history, which included being attendant in some of the priciest Melbourne hotels for over 3 decades.
The office cleaner turned activist appear in one of the union’s backed ads in The Australian recently, wherein she stated that she was not a union executive member, and wrote to the Prime Minister that the pay cut was something she nor any other employee could not tolerate.
After the media event that occurred outside of Parliament, the Prime Minister dared the Opposition Leader to give proof to his claims that Ms. Murray-Stark’s Sunday penalty rates would be cut, causing a reprisal from the hospitality workers’ union. According to Ms. Murray-Stark, she cannot confirm it herself, stating that she only heard it from the news, with no official word from the company, AHS Hospitality.
The Prime Minister has stated that it was ultimately up to the employers whether or not to implement the cut, after the Opposition Leader mentioned that Ms. Murray-Stark would lose $2000 from her yearly pay of $30,000. Mr. Turnbull went about systematically attacking these claims, seeking factual, undeniable evidence with regards to the pay cuts.
AHS Hospitality, one of the leading provider of guest services, have stated that the penalty rate cuts would be applied in full. In response to this, United Voice labelled Mr. Turnbull a disgrace for questioning the stakes put forward by Ms. Murray-Stark, now seen as the representative of office cleaners in Melbourne.
Recently, support for the penalty rate cuts have dwindled, with the opposition claiming it as a victory, but the lower house does have the numbers necessary to reverse the tide, leaving the final verdict up for debate.