Workers from across Wollongong will gather tonight to discuss the reforms included the Federal Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill introduced to Parliament this week and the importance of enacting them in law.
Mining and Energy Union South Western District Secretary Andy Davey said mineworkers had campaigned for years for ‘Same Job Same Pay’ provisions to stop the widespread misuse of labour hire in the coal industry to cut wages.
Of 3,500 workers in the Southern District coal industry, almost half are labour hire contractors who are commonly paid tens of thousands of dollars less than permanent employees doing the same job.
Under changes in the Closing Loopholes Bill, workers could apply to the Fair Work Commission for Same Job Same Pay orders to establish minimum pay rates at a site in line with the relevant Enterprise Agreement.
“The Closing Loopholes Bill is a light at the end of the tunnel for mineworkers who have been battling this unfair employment model for years,” said Mr Davey.
“Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – the Coalition and One Nation are teaming up and trying to block and delay the passage of this Bill through Parliament. But we will keep campaigning until these reforms become law.
“Tonight’s event is to inform our members about what’s in the Closing Loopholes Bill and what’s at stake in ensuring it gets through Parliament.”
In addition to addressing the labour hire loophole, the Closing Loopholes Bill also establishes new rights and standards for casual, temporary and gig economy workers.
“These changes would make a big difference right across our region,” said Mr Davey.
Politics in the Pub
‘Closing the Loopholes that undercut wages for Illawarra workers’
Friday 8 September
6pm Mount Kembla Village Hotel
Who: MEU South Western District Secretary Andy Davey
South Coast Labour Council Secretary Arthur Rorris
Whitlam MP Stephen Jones
Contact: Andy Davey 0423 247 725