December 7, 2023
Thousands of labour hire mineworkers across Australia will be celebrating today after key elements of the Closing Loopholes Bill won the support of the Federal Parliament today, including Same Job Same Pay measures to end labour hire exploitation.
Mining and Energy Union General Secretary Grahame Kelly thanked Senators for supporting the common sense measure to prevent multinational using labour hire to drive down wages.
“Labour hire exploitation is out of control in the mining industry and workers have been raising this issue for many years,” said Mr Kelly.
“It is a relief to have a Government who has listened to workers’ concerns and developed targeted legislation in response.
“We thank those Senators who have seen through the big mining companies’ multi-million dollar BS and supported a fair go for Aussie workers.
“After years of campaigning for Same Job Same Pay, the MEU will now focus on making sure these new laws deliver for workers across the mining and energy industries.”
The Same Job Same Pay provisions passed today provide a mechanism to prevent companies paying labour hire workers less than permanent employees doing the same job, where an Enterprise Agreement is in place at the work site.
Central Queensland labour hire mineworker Brodie Allen said passage of Same Job Same Pay through the Parliament would make labour hire workers feel valued.
“There are thousands of workers like me who have been labour hire for years. We’ve been treated as second class citizens for too long. This is a great day, because we now have laws to stop big mining companies paying us less than the permanent workers beside us.
“It’s a fantastic Christmas present for Australian workers.”
Other elements of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 passed today include:
· Criminalising wage theft- for too long workers have had wages stolen from them with little recourse. This Bill will increase the civil penalties for wage theft and criminalise intentional wage theft. Superannuation theft will also be included in this legislation.
· Stronger rights for workplace delegates.
· Introduce better support for first responders diagnosed with PTSD.
· Strengthen protections against discrimination for employees subjected to family and domestic violence.
· Include silica-related diseases and safety within the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
· Criminalise industrial manslaughter.