Around fifty workers and community members rallied in Mackay recently vowing to continue campaigning on the issue of secure jobs in the lead-up to the federal election.
Workers from a range of industries across the region – electrical trades, mining, maritime, nursing, aged care, construction, services and public administration – gathered outside the office of the Coalition MP for Dawson to emphasise the value of reliable work to local communities.
There was even a reported sighting of the local MP.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus told the crowd:
“Labour hire companies have sold casualisation as a business model. They’ve sold it to the big mining companies and they’ve used that to cut wages, take away people’s job security which really wrecks communities. If you are working a permanent roster you should have permanent rights. This is a problem all around the country but it’s starting to get really hot up here in central Queensland.
Local Mackay QCU Branch President Deb Green said:
“I know that in Mackay one of the big cancers in our working lives is labour hire. If you are doing the same work you should getting the same pay.”
Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Michael Clifford said:
“We now have record high numbers of people working in multiple jobs just to make a living. George Christensen and his government have sat on their hands for year and years while insecure work becomes an increasing problem. “
The rally was the first event in a fortnight of events culminating in the Senate Inquiry into Secure Jobs, which held a remote hearing focussing on testimony from Mackay and Moranbah workers on 13 July.