UnionsWA has responded to the release today of the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee Report 2 ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ Sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry and called on for measures to be take both in the resources sector but also more widely to ensure women as safe in all workplaces.
Owen Whittle, Secretary, UnionsWA, said:
“This is an important and shocking report into sexual harassment and assault in the resources and FIFO sector.
“This inquiry would not have been possible without the brave workers, mostly women, who came forward with their experiences.
“Damning evidence has been given about the lack of reporting to the regulator, silencing victims through non-disclosure agreements to protect corporate reputations and a broad range of unlawful and criminal behaviour that have been overlooked by the industry.
“The industry has seemed to be more concerned with their corporate reputations than with having crimes investigated to police.
“Historically women have been denied well paying jobs in the FIFO resources sector due to traditional segregation of work roles, discrimination and stereotyping, now add to that sexual assault, meaning women are literally harassed out of their job as well.
“The more women the resource sector gets into its jobs the better.
“Their presence will be a critical indicator of improvement in the underlying workplace cultural problems that have facilitated these crimes.
“While FIFO resources sector work does pose some particular risks – being male dominated and providing long stay accommodation in remote locations – the danger to women in other workplaces should not be forgotten and should be acted upon to ensure safety for all working people.
“A number of these recommendations should be rolled out to all workplaces and industries – such as those that facilitate anonymous reporting of incidents.
“A number of recommendations are particularly important and deserve specific mention and an urge to action.
“The extensive use of labour hire and contracting arrangements are clearly factors in the lack of reporting and far too many working people are forced into these arrangements.
“Essential standards for accommodations facilities are strongly endorsed by the union movement, security of one’s private space should not be compromised.