Unions NT Submission to Inquiry
NT unions are campaigning to extend a range of pay and conditions that apply to permanently employed workers to casual, part-time, temporary, contract and labour hire workers. The initial part of the campaign involves a Unions NT submission to the national ‘Secure Jobs Better Future’ independent inquiry which commences hearings in Darwin 23 February 2012 and will be followed by specific witnesses and case studies to amplify the extent of labour shortage problems in the NT said Unions NT Secretary Adam Lampe.
The lack of access for temporarily employed workers to various forms of leave, similar pay and allowance rates, superannuation, workers’ compensation, other benefits and more secure jobs for workers who often work under different arrangements but in the same workplace, has created an unfair ‘multi-tiered’ workforce throughout the NT which needs to cease.
ACTU President Jed Kearney was also in Darwin late 2011 where she addressed a roundtable seminar on precarious work citing that up to ‘40% of Australia’s workforce is precariously employed’.
Unions NT Secretary Adam Lampe said that ‘Job security’ is a key issue for the trade union movement throughout Australia and particularly in the Northern Territory where short term contract work, part-time employment, labour hire and casual employment exist at a time when labour market shortages also confront all industry sectors in the NT’.
Projects in the resources sector compete for skilled labour not only locally but elsewhere in Australia and increasingly overseas. However, these sectors are not alone in the search for skilled workers. Improved wages, training and more secure employment arrangements are needed for the NT to be a more attractive place to work.
Non Government, community health, indigenous, childcare, security, gaming, hospitality, horticulture, agriculture, the public sector and Defence related organisations all experience skill shortages and offer precarious forms of employment which make it difficult to effectively counter staff turnover and poaching of skilled staff.
The unnecessary over-reliance on short term, temporary contracts as well as labour hire employment ensures regular staff turnover and high levels of itinerancy in the Northern Territory labour market as well as attempts by many employers to undermine Australian wages and employment standards, said Mr Lampe.
For further information contact Mark Crossin at Unions NT on 8941 0001 or 0404 028 514
Published: 01 Feb 2012
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