Mining and Energy Union (MEU) ads supporting the Albanese Government’s proposed Same Job Same Pay laws will be running across Hunter Valley TV, press and social media from today.
MEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy District President Robin Williams said the campaign would support better pay for labour hire workers and challenge mining company scare campaigns.
“We have seen extremely misleading ads and information being spread by the Minerals Council and employer groups about what this legislation will mean,” said Mr Williams.
“We are committed to getting the message out into regional mining communities and talking to those who will benefit from Same Job Same Pay.
“The mining industry here in the Hunter Valley pioneered the business model that has seen whole sections of the workforce outsourced to labour hire and that’s why our ads will resonate in the community.
“The Minerals Council are disgracefully suggesting that some workers are paid less because they are bludgers. The truth is that many workers are paid less simply because they are contractors, rather than direct employees.”
Mr Williams said Same Job Same Pay laws would close the loophole that allows companies to avoid paying the wages and conditions negotiated under site Enterprise Agreements by outsourcing jobs to labour hire companies paying barely above the legal minimum.
The practice means that on many mine sites, labour hire workers are paid from $30,000 to $50,000 a year less than permanent workers for doing the same job.
Additionally, he said that Same Job Same Pay would result in a fair economic return to mining regions for the enormous value produced by their communities.
“Mining communities lose $1 billion a year from local economic activity due to mining companies exploiting the labour hire loophole which drives down wages and conditions – including nearly $250 million a year hear in the Hunter Valley.
“That means the Hunter Valley will be one of the biggest regional beneficiaries from Same Job Same Pay laws for labour hire workers.”
Mr Williams said that BHP’s recent admission that closing the labour hire loophole will cost them $1.3 billion is a striking admission of how much they have taken out of mining workers’ and mining communities pockets.
“Same Job Same Pay will strengthen collective bargaining by ensuring companies stick to their end of the bargain, which will see these gains returned to the community.
“We encourage all workers who want to end this rort to get on board and help make sure Same Job Same Pay becomes a reality.”
Latest data from Coal Services shows that in the NSW Northern District coalfields, 43.2% of open cut and 21.9% of underground coal miners are contractors, rather than direct employees.
Who: MEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy District, Dan Repacholi MP, MEU Delegates
Date: Friday 23 June
Time: 12:00 pm
Where: East Cessnock Bowling Club
Photo opportunity: There will also be a photo opportunity with a delegation of workers holding signs and banners.
Media contact: 0405 285 547