By Rob Mitchell
The CFMEU WA refutes the need to have yet another inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry as put forward by the State government.
CFMEU WA Secretary Mick Buchan pointed to the ridiculous number of inquiries we’ve had into the impact of labour hire around the county, the most recent being by the Queensland and Victorian Governments who have both subsequently introduced new laws to address the exploitation of labour hire in their states.
“We don’t need another inquiry. What we need from our State Government is action based on what is already well known and well established.”
“We don’t need an inquiry to tell us that labour hire if rife with the exploitation of workers. That workers on labour hire should be offered permanency after a period of time.”
“We don’t need an inquiry to let us know that workers and their families suffer insecurity, find it impossible to get loans or plan for their future because they don’t know from one day to the next how long they will be employed or where their next dollar is coming from.”
“Too many workers are exploited and underpaid. They get no sick leave or annual leave or the other entitlements that are supposed to be protected in this country.”
Workers have been taken for granted for far too long. Labour hire is a cancer in our industry that is used to cheat us of our entitlements, make our lives less secure, and try to prevent us speaking up about poor conditions and poor safety, and lets employers step around the unfair dismissal laws that are supposed to protect every Australian worker.
Because we all know that if a labour hire worker complains about their rate of pay, speaks up about safety, or even just asks for a day off, they run the risk of getting the text to say no more work for you. They get shafted. It’s as simple as that.
We’ve gone from a handful of companies 20 years ago providing top up labour to thousands of labour hire firms ripping off workers and providing almost all the workers to builders like Multiplex who used to be top tier operations and are now just ripping everyone off.
It’s time to cut this cancer out of our industry.