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Hunter labour hire miners first beneficiaries of Same Job Same Pay laws

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Almost 30 Hunter labour hire coal miners will be the first direct beneficiaries of the recently-implemented Same Job Same Pay laws.

The legislation empowers the Fair Work Commission to ensure parity, meaning workers hired through labour hire agencies receive wages equal to those of in-house employees performing identical roles.

In March, the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) made a Same Job Same Pay application to the Fair Work Commission for Programmed labour hire mineworkers at Mount Pleasant Operation near Muswellbrook, operated by Thiess.

But, it was withdrawn this week after Thiess agreed to directly employ 27 workers in scope of the order, resulting in wage increases of more than $30,000 a year.

“This is a terrific outcome and an important step towards restoring justice across the mining industry,” MEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy District president Robin Williams said.

“For years, these labour hire workers have been getting pay packets over $30,000 a year less than permanents doing the same work.

“The mine operator has responded to our application by agreeing to employ them directly.

“Now, not only will they get the same pay as the permanent employees they work next to, they will also get the same job security, conditions and entitlements. 

“A goal of the new laws is to remove the economic incentive to outsource permanent jobs to lower-paid labour hire.

“It’s fantastic seeing the legislation lifting pay and job security as intended.”

Mr Williams said the union would now proceed with preparing and submitting its next applications for labour hire workers across the mining industry.

The MEU’s Same Job Same Pay submission for labour hire workers at Batchfire’s Callide Mine in Central Queensland is waiting to be determined by the Fair Work Commission. 

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