The Mining and Energy Union reports that the Federal Parliament has supported key elements of the Closing Loopholes Bill, including the Same Job Same Pay measures, a win for thousands of labour hire mineworkers across Australia.
Mining and Energy Union General Secretary Grahame Kelly expressed gratitude to Senators for their support in preventing multinational companies from employing labour to reduce wages.
“Labour hire exploitation is out of control in the mining industry and workers have been raising this issue for many years,” Kelly said.
He noted that it is reassuring to have a government that has listened to workers’ concerns and responded with appropriate legislation.
“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,” he added.
The Same Job Same Pay provisions aim to prevent companies from paying labour hire workers less than permanent employees in the same job, provided an Enterprise Agreement is in place.
Brodie Allen, a central Queensland labour hire mineworker, said the passing of Same Job, Same Pay through 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,” Allen added.
Other elements of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 include:
- Criminalising wage theft – the Bill will strengthen civil sanctions for pay fraud and criminalise intentional wage theft. This legislation will also cover superannuation theft.
- 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.