The owners of massage chairs and massage suites in Brisbane’s west have taken to the streets to protest against the Federal Government’s plans to cut down on their business.
Key points:The Federal Government is proposing to cut the number of beds in hotels by almost halfThe National Living Wage will apply to the rest of the country in 2017The owners of luxury hotels and massage parlours say they will sell their properties if their wages don’t riseThe Australian Hotels Association has been lobbying the Government to reduce the number the beds in their hotels.
Key Points:The owners say they would sell their hotel if their salaries don’t increaseThey are protesting the Federal Opposition’s plans for a “living wage”The owners have already been protesting on the streets of Brisbane for more than two weeksThe owners are angry about the proposed $US100,000 per year minimum wage changes to the minimum wage.
“They want to cut our jobs, and that’s the last thing we want to do,” said Lisa and Tom Clements.
“The living wage has been a very important tool in our lives, but it doesn’t mean we should be getting cut in any way.”
Lisa and Tom said they have been protesting for more to two weeks now and have been in lock down since then.
“This is not about us, this is about the Government, it’s about us trying to protect our jobs,” they said.
“It’s about the fact that they don’t want our livelihoods.”
They are planning to start a petition on Change.org to raise their voices against the Government’s proposal to cut their living wage from $US60,000 to $US25,000.
“We’ve been living in the hotel for almost 30 years and we know the pain of the living wage, we know what it’s like to struggle, and we’re just doing what we have to do to protect what we’ve built over the years,” Ms Clements said.
The Clements’ are not the only owners protesting the proposal, and some have already made a fortune from the business.
“My business has doubled in the last year, I’m the owner, we sell out every night,” said Mr Clements, who owns the popular Melbourne Spa, and the hotel is now worth around $US200,000 in a market worth more than $US1 billion.
“When they put in their proposal, they just said that the living wages are going to go up, and they’ve got a real good plan, and I can see how that might help my business,” he said.
Mr Clements and his wife Lisa have been renting out their hotel for over 30 years, and say the hotel has become one of their most profitable businesses.
“I’ve made a lot of money from it, but we’re going to keep it up because it’s really the only way we can survive,” he added.
“If we don’t have a living wage that’s going to hit the bottom of our bottom line, that’s just not going to be good for our business.”