Bosses need to make a stand
With union assistance, a “permanent casual” transport worker in the mining industry has won the right to annual leave entitlements which ends the rort surrounding those “casual” workers who are working a regular roster each week.
What this means is that the Fair Work Commission has ruled that some casual workers are entitled to paid leave.
Casual workers who are provided with regular and predictable shifts and have a firm advance commitment to work should be given paid sick and holiday leave.
Given that ruling, it is not unexpected that a wild cry has gone up.
The usual “we are all going to the wall” mentality is coming from employer groups and other organisations like the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business NSW and the AI Group.
It’s rare that I see an employer group stand up for a fair go for the transport workers that are so vital for the success of so many of their member businesses.
Too many employers for too long have used the excuse of “flexibility” as a reason to casualise the workforce in an attempt to save money off the backs of drivers.
More and more workers are missing the benefit of a secure job because they are employed as casuals.
Too often labour hire companies, which are rife in the transport industry, have also exploited workers who are casuals.
This court decision confirms a worker’s right to permanent rights if their job is permanent.
Transport workers and the businesses that employ them are about to engage in the mountain climb of their lives, seeking to ensure a healthier economic future following the slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet right now employer groups are standing against a better deal for workers to help with that. NatRoad for example recently released their comments opposing a minimum-wage increase, using the pandemic as an excuse.
No thoughts for the future prosperity of this country or for the lowest paid workers on award rates.
Employer groups should be standing alongside transport workers to unite for a safer and fairer transport industry.
Wage theft, job insecurity, casualisation, and transport industry fatalities are no longer acceptable and should be recognised as bad for business and bad for the workers that keep the industry moving.
If transport workers have money in their pockets, they and their families have a chance to boost spending.
The pandemic has shown the vital nature of transport workers and it makes economic sense to ensure those workers can support their families and help get our economy back on track as restrictions are lifted.
The TWU will continue to seek that all elements of the transport industry, the employers, their industry bodies, and the clients continue to engage in the push for better standards to ensure job security and ultimately a safer and fairer industry for all.