June 17, 2022
Mining profits have soared 78% since the start of the pandemic, but workers are not getting the benefits. In fact, the wages share of the profits is just one third of what it was in the previous mining boom between 2002-2009.
What is the big difference? An explosion in the use of lower paid labour hire workers, meaning that mining companies can bring in workers closer to the minimum Award, rather than under the pay and conditions that we have all collectively bargained for.
Enterprise bargaining is a fundamental pillar of our industrial relations system. Employers and employees enter negotiations around the terms of employment and come to an agreement that is enforceable in the workplace.
However, some mining companies have decided to opt out of this by dividing the workforce through the misuse of labour hire. This means that employers can bring in workers outside of the Enterprise Agreement on lower pay and worse conditions.
This misuse of labour hire arrangements an important reason why wages growth has been relatively stagnant in an industry that is seeing enormous profits.
This is why #SameJobSamePay is so important because the man or woman next to you, doing the exact same job shouldn’t be paid tens of thousands of dollars less a year just because they are labour hire workers, and because the workers in one of the most profitable industries should benefit from the enormous value they provide to the nation.