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This Business Lobby's International Women's Day Tweet Did Not Go Well

"Counterpoint: These are all lies."

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To help celebrate International Women's Day the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent a tweet with a quote from its CEO James Pearson saying women will benefit from cuts to Sunday wages.

Women stand to benefit from changes to penalty rates. Underemployment disproportionately affects women.…

It did not go down well.

@AusChamber Now they can be underemployed and underpaid at the same time Bravo

.@AusChamber unless this is intentional self-parody, you should strongly consider deleting your account

Last month the Fair Work Commission recommended cuts to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

The cuts are expected to hit women hard, given they make up the majority of the workforce in the retail, accommodation and food services industries.

But Pearson suggested the cuts will mean more businesses open for longer, leading to more opportunities for people who want to work extra hours.

People said it was celebrating cutting women's pay on IWD.

@AusChamber Your logic is disingenuous at best & you celebrate cutting women's pay on #IWD2017? Back inside your cave.

.@AusChamber me thinking how paying women less is a good thing

@AusChamber #women will take home less due to lower #penaltyrates Yet business will rake profits not workers #auspol trickle down is a lie

.@AusChamber Happy International Women's Day from the people who want to cut our pay. The same ppl who DO NOT work weekends. Bravo. #fail

The inclusion of the hashtag #BeBoldForChange wasn't a hit either.

@AusChamber if you're so bold for change, why aren't there more women on your board?

A new poll of 3,515 residents in the federal electorates of Brisbane, Corangamite, Dawson, Page and Leichhardt found 66% of female voters and 58% of male voters disapproved of the penalty rate cuts.

It also found women were more cynical about the proposed effect of the cuts, with 35% believing they would result in more jobs for the affected industries, compared with 42% of men.

Following the deluge of responses, the chamber DOUBLED DOWN on its underemployment message, tweeting a graph of who wants more hours by gender and sector.

Underemployment disproportionately affects women. #BeBoldForChange

"Underemployment disproportionately affects women," the tweet read. But again, people were unconvinced.

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

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