Saturday, February 04, 2017

ACTU – Big corporations erode pay and conditions while Malcolm Turnbull sits on his hands

3 February 2017

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) recognises the significance of today’s Senate Inquiry hearing into corporate avoidance of Fair Work Act being held in the regional town of Collie in Western Australia. The town has been devastated by Griffin Coal’s opportunistic exploitation of weaknesses in our laws to cut the pay and conditions of its workforce.  Nearly 30 residents of the small town individually submitted to the Inquiry pleading for Malcolm Turnbull’s action to stop multinational corporations profiteering at the expense of workers. 

Collie maintenance workers’ wages were slashed after Griffin Coal used Fair Work proceedings to terminate an enterprise agreement and unfairly force workers back onto much lower conditions determined by the company.  The company has also determined that next month the workers pay and conditions will be slashed again down to the award minimums.  This is just one in a growing list of of examples where big corporations are seeking to unjustly undermine decent pay, decent leave, and other hard fought for conditions leaving working people, their families and communities in the lurch.

The following comments are attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:
  • “In Collie, we see workers and their families absolutely devastated by Griffin Coal’s ruthless industrial gameplaying.”
  • “This doesn’t just affect the workers themselves, it has broad impacts for the whole community including local businesses, schools and health services.” 
    “Instead of providing protective framework for workers to negotiate a fair deal, our laws have provided a means for the company to abandon a deal and pull the rug out from beneath the workforce and their community.  This is clearly not the way the laws were intended to operate.”
  • “This is a worrying new trend with employers.  For example, Esso Australia has replaced its offshore catering workforce and iconic beer maker Carlton and United Breweries tried to force workers into unjust contracting arrangements to avoid paying bargained wages and conditions.“
  • “Disappointingly, Malcolm Turnbull refused to support the establishment of this Inquiry.”
“Australians are horrified at how big corporations are treating workers under the Turnbull Government. With the latest Essential Poll showing 65% of Australians think big businesses don’t pay enough tax, 72% said large international corporations were under-taxed and 60% agree that higher taxes for multinational corporations would be good for the economy.”

Collie, WA, Senate Committee Public hearing details for media:

Where: Collie Ridge Motel, Coalfields Highway, 185-195 Trossell Street, Collie

When: Friday 3 February, 2017 from 8.00am to 12.15pm

No comments: