Insecure work is at crisis levels in Central Queensland, with nearly 4 in 10 workers (38.7 percent) in casual work, well above the Australian average of 21.9 percent. This is according to a report released today by the Queensland Council of Unions and the ACTU.
The report finds that if all forms of insecure work are included, up to half of workers in Central Queensland do not have a permanent job.
Key industries such as mining, meat processing and manufacturing – some of the biggest employers in Central Queensland– have been deliberately replacing permanent jobs with insecure ones, the union bodies say.
Less than half of mining jobs are permanent
The report found that levels of permanent work in the mining industry had gone from almost all permanent in 1996 to less than half this year.
“Those workers are on casual or labour hire arrangements earning 30 to 40 percent less than permanent workers employed directly by mine operators doing exactly the same work – this is despite the industry making at least $35-billion in profits last year,” the ACTU said in a statement.
It added that insecure work puts workers lives on hold, with uncertainty over hours, lower pay and no job security. This put tremendous financial and emotional strain on families.
“Mining, aged care, meat processing and manufacturing are key areas of work in Central Queensland and employers are deliberately replacing permanent jobs with insecure ones,” said ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus.
Casual employment gives all power to bosses
“This is not only bad for workers, but bad for communities who rely on workers with money in their pockets to spend.”
“Casual employment gives all the power to employers, making it difficult for workers to bargain for better pay or rights – and the Morrison Government has condemned more workers into insecurity by passing laws earlier this year that ensure employers can label any worker as a casual, irrespective of the true nature of their work,” McManus stated.
“To stop the ‘uberisation’ of the Australian workforce, the Morrison Government must protect workers and pass laws ensuring ‘same job same pay’. Workers doing the same job should get the same pay regardless [of] if they are on the books of a labour hire company or directly employed.”