Unions welcome Shorten announcement on labour hire

Unions have welcomed the announcement that if elected a Shorten Labor Government would introduce legislation to regulate labour hire.

“For too long we have seen the business model being used where labour hire forces down labour costs at the workers’ expense,” said QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan.

“The QCU participated in the Labour Hire Inquiry undertaken by the Queensland Government and supported the licensing scheme introduced by the Palaszczuk Government.

“But there is only so much a state government can do with private sector industrial relations now regulated by the Commonwealth,” she said.

“The Turnbull Government and the LNP have demonstrated that they are not the least bit interested in workers who are being ripped off and working side by side with other workers but being paid less,” said Ms McLennan.

Examples were brought forward during the Queensland inquiry through a web site set up by unions for workers to have their say.

“Some of the examples we saw were outrageous,” said Ms McLennan.

“Even this week in an inquiry into contract cleaning in the retail trade, we are hearing of two cleaners working side by side and one was being $100 per week less than the other,” she said.

“I am certain labour hire has contributed to the low wage growth currently being experienced in Australia.  We know for sure that it has contributed to insecure employment as casual employment is standard within labour hire.

“This latest announcement demonstrates that the Opposition is serious about doing something to improve the lot of workers and it stands in stark contrast to the inaction of the current federal government,” Ms McLennan said.

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