We can stamp out wage theft: workers present solutions to the Senate today
United Workers Union members have presented a formal submission to the Senate Inquiry into Wage Theft in Canberra today on behalf of the thousands of union members who have experienced wage theft. The workers are calling for an end to wage theft becoming the ‘new normal’ and presenting solutions to return a culture of compliance to Australian workplaces.
Workers have shared shocking personal stories of wage theft in the submission. Stories include farm workers paid $8 to $12 an hour to pick tomatoes whilst being exposed to dangerous chemical spraying. One food manufacturing worker was forced to work 23 hours a day for no overtime and with the help of the union recovered $36,000 in overtime wages. A security guard working 24 hour shifts for a flat rate of pay was not paid any shift loadings or penalty rates, the union is fighting for $55,000 in stolen wages.
The United Workers Union submission makes the following recommendations to stamp out wage theft:
Tim Kennedy, National Secretary of United Workers Union says, “Every year, thousands of the lowest paid workers in the country experience wage theft. For many this can mean the difference between getting by, or experiencing financial hardship. It must be eradicated.
“The only way to eradicate wage theft in all its forms is through strongly unionised workplaces. Migrant workers on farms, young workers who are paid cash in hospitality, and workers in industries like cleaning where shonky subcontracting is rife have been affected by wage theft for too long.
“These members have been coming together as part of their union and saying enough is enough – it’s time to stamp out wage theft.
“That’s why United Workers Union welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Unlawful Underpayment of Employees’ Remuneration on behalf of union members who have experienced wage theft in its many forms.
“Examples in the submission show workers emboldened and supported by their union, standing up and taking action to recover stolen wages. They worked collectively, supported each other, took action and got results.
“The United Workers Union urges the Senate to consider our recommendations to ensure a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work for all Australian workers.”
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You can download a copy of the United Workers Union submission here.Download a copy of the submission