Published: 19 Oct 2018
Federal Government intervention on behalf of business to wind back the WorkPac v Skene Federal Court decision will give big mining companies the green light to keep exploiting casual workers in permanent, on-going roles.
Despite employer rhetoric about the impact on small business, the Skene decision responds to the exploitative practices of the world’s biggest, richest, multinational mining companies, said CFMEU National President Tony Maher.
“Mining companies have been ruthless pioneers of the ‘permanent casual’ work model exposed by the case successfully run by the CFMEU on behalf of coal miner Paul Skene,” said Mr Maher.
“WorkPac supplies labour to global mining giants BHP, Glencore and AngloAmerican. Paul Skene worked at a Rio Tinto coal mine in Central Queensland.
"These are no mum-and-dad outfits.
“False claims of a multi-billion dollar outbreak of worker ‘double-dipping’ affecting small business are a distraction from the systematic casualisation of permanent jobs by big business.
“Minister O’Dwyer’s announcement today is a slap in the face for casual workers who the full federal court has found have been ripped off by their employers through underpayment of entitlements.”
Mr Maher said the CFMEU would continue to defend the principle of the Skene decision and pursue claims for mineworkers falsely classified as casuals.
Background regarding WorkPac v Skene: