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July 19, 2018

Federal Labor Candidatefor Capricornia Russell Robertson, is calling on Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry to deliver real policy action on labour hire.

“Three years ago in Parliament Michelle Landry said she was going to do more about casualisation and labour hire in Central Queensland,” Robertson said.

“But she hasn’t done anything else. Worse still, when I launched my campaign to get real action moving on dodgy labour hire, Michelle Landry said that the best way to help CQ workers was to give a tax cut to big business! The very companies that are currently ripping off CQ labour hire workers!”

“Michelle Landry has proven time and time again that she will put Malcolm Turnbull’s big business mates over Central Queensland. It’s not good enough.”

“Too many labour hire workers are being treated like second class citizens, with lower wages, worse conditions and no job security” said Robertson.

“As a coal miner, I know the devastating impact this has on our communities. But it’s happening across all of our industries, from mining, to manufacturing, to health and education.”

“That’s why I have been knocking on doors and lobbying politicians to get direct action on dodgy labour hire. This announcement is a fantastic result.”

A Shorten Labor Government will legislate to ensure that workers employed through a labour hire company will receive the same pay and conditions as people employed directly.

“Labor’s new policy is based on a simple principle: if you are doing the same job, you should get the same pay” said Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations, Lisa Chesters.

Chesters said there are workers who like the flexibility that labour hire provides, too often it’s used purely as a mechanism to pay workers less, or to deprive them of conditions and security.

“Labor has listened to the concerns of Robbo and the workers in Central Queensland and have taken action to build a fair labour hire industry that helps businesses meet their needs, while protecting workers” said Chesters.

Chesters said the announcement builds on Labor’s strong plans to improve the pay and conditions of working Australians, including examining the definition of “casual” work setting an objective test for deciding when a worker is “casual”.

Labor Senator for Queensland, Murray Watt said Russell Robertson had helped to secure a fantastic win for Central Queensland.

“Labor’s announcement is proof of what can be achieved for Central Queensland workers when they have a Federal representative who is on their side.”

“Michelle Landry would rather go to Canberra and side with Malcolm Turnbull than fight against issues that really matter to Central Queenslanders, like casualisation and fixing labour hire.”

“Michelle Landry likes to talk tough on casualisation and labour hire in CQ. But when she got down to Canberra, she sided with Malcolm Turnbull and his big business mates and voted against laws that would help workers recover unpaid wages where a labour hire company does a runner” said Watt.

“While Labor is putting forward policies that deliver a fair go for Central Queensland, Malcolm Turnbull and his Member for Capricornia continue to look after the top end of town. She needs to come out and back Labor’s policy. Otherwise she reveals herself again as just another mouthpiece for Malcolm Turnbull and big business.”

Chesters said a Shorten Labor Government will consult with labour hire companies, host employers, unions and other stakeholders on the legislative scheme and transitional arrangements.

This policy will not affect small businesses using labour hire companies to source workers on a temporary basis or to deliver specialist skills.