The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor and the Labor Candidate for Leichardt Elida Faith will be in Cairns today to talk to workers, unions and employers about stopping unfair labour hire practices and the growing instance of insecure work.
The most recent ABS Characteristics of Employment Survey data shows that there are 23,500 labour hire workers in Queensland. Too many labour hire workers, particularly in Cairns and regional Queensland, are being used to undercut the wages, conditions and job security of the rest of the workforce.
As part of the visit to Cairns, Mr O’Connor and Ms Faith will today launch a website https://www.alp.org.au/labour_hire. Labor’s website will give workers that have found themselves ripped off or in a precarious work situation the opportunity to tell their story.
Australians deserve secure jobs and decent wages, yet many labour hire workers feel insecure at work. More than half of all labour hire workers have been with their employer for less than 12 months and they are twice as likely as other workers to want more hours each week.
Insecure labour hire work, particularly in regional Queensland, makes it harder for workers to pay the bills and make ends meet, and nearly half of labour hire workers have families they need to support.
It’s time for the scourge of unfair labour hire practices to end.
The Turnbull Government hasn’t done a single thing to address the growing incidence of insecure and casualised work. In fact, they are so out of touch that they try to pretend it isn’t happening.
Labor committed at the last election to examine the definition of “casual” work and to set an objective test for determining when a worker is casual, to introduce a national labour hire licensing scheme and to crack down on sham independent contracting.
Labor will continue to lead on policies for decent jobs - and will continue to listen to workers about what they are experiencing in the workplace.
TUESDAY, 17 APRIL 2018