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Labor goes on attack after travel firm’s pay cut proposal

A travel company run by a former treasurer of the Liberal Party has asked some staff to accept pay cuts, in one case of more than $15,000 in total annual remuneration, to help it survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Labor seized on the move by Helloworld in question time on Thursday to argue that the Morrison government’s industrial relations reform would prompt a wave of other companies to slash wages in a claim the government rejects.

Helloworld chief executive officer Andrew Burnes asked staff to accept lower pay.

Helloworld chief executive officer Andrew Burnes asked staff to accept lower pay.Credit:Daniel Munoz

Helloworld’s request to employees, contained in internal communications seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, was made under present industrial laws because the government’s reforms are still before Parliament.

In one letter from the company’s general manager of human resources, Alex Trifonidis, the company asked an employee to accept a reduction in total annual remuneration from just over $83,000 a year to about $66,000 beginning when JobKeeper expires at the end of March and when it’s being reviewed in November. The staff member is on a lower rate under JobKeeper.

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