UnionsWA has today commented on the passage by the Federal Parliament of the Closing the Loopholes Bill.
Owen Whittle, UnionsWA Secretary said:
“The abuse of labour hire staffing to undermine permanent jobs is the most significant loophole to be closed by this new law and the one that corporations such as BHP and Qantas have used to drive down wages in their industries.
“What we’ve seen this year was that large, cashed-up corporations lawyered-up and teamed up with PR consultants to spread lies and misleading ads.
"While the resources sector in WA is used to getting its own way, we're pleased to see that using misleading arguments to excuse the exploitation of workers didn't fly on a national stage.
“This gaming our workplace laws is bad for democracy.
"We are in a cost-of-living crisis for WA workers and importantly these reforms will see better pay flow into the pockets of a number of those workers.
“The harsher penalties for wage and superannuation theft and stronger protections against discrimination for those subject to domestic and family violence are welcome.
“Stronger rights for elected union workplace delegates that are part of this new law are also needed and welcome and will assist workers with rights and representation in the workplace.
“There’s still more that’s needed, in particular casual workers deserve more rights and protections to be converted to permanency.
“We look forward next year to seeing the Senate ignore the scare campaign coming from WA mining companies and legislating these important protections.”