Labour hire laws failure
CHRIS CALCINO A SMALL union rally outside Warren Entsch’s office has failed to sway the Leichhardt MP on penalty rate cuts.
Queensland Council of Unions branch president Rob Hill accused Mr Entsch of merely paying lip-service to his constituents’ financial struggles as the clock ticked down to tomorrow’s cuts.
“This region was hit pretty hard by the last round of penalty rate cuts – up to 9000 people were affected,” he said.
“We’ve got people underemployed, and the casualisation scourge is huge in Cairns.”
Mr Entsch was flying back from Canberra during the rally but said Labor set up the Fair Work Commission and baulked when it recommended cuts.
“The independent arbiter considered all the arguments from both businesses and employees and came up with a decision,” he said.
“You can’t overturn an independent umpire’s decision every time you don’t like it for political reasons.”
A ReachTEL survey commissioned by the ACTU earlier this week revealed two-thirds of regional Queenslanders backed Labor’s plan to restore penalty rates. confirming that any provider of labour hire services that missed the June 15 deadline will not be penalised, provided they have since submitted an application,” she said.
“They have also confirmed this applies to the clients who engage with them.”
The WHSQ spokesman rejected the suggestion the scheme had been poorly advertised, saying it had been supported by a widely-distributed newspaper and social media campaign backed by radio announcements.
“All labour hire providers who were registered with WorkCover were advised via direct email,” he continued.
“Advice was also distributed to a mailing list of self-nominated interested stakeholders.”
Detractors of the scheme have criticised the annual licensing cost, which starts at $1000 for businesses with wages of $1.5 million or less and rise to $5000 for businesses paying staff more than $5 million a year.