CALTEX WORKER EXPLOITATION EXPOSES GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE
06 Mar 2018
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s report into systemic underpayment and exploitation of workers across Caltex franchises exposes the Government’s continual failure to properly address worker exploitation and underpayment.
The investigation found a 76 per cent failure rate from the 25 stores it had audited.
Well before the 2016 election Labor called for legislative reforms which would prevent vulnerable workers from being underpaid and exploited. Unfortunately, the Liberals failed to join with Labor to make the necessary changes.
The Liberal government sat on its hands for too long, allowing systemic exploitation such as that which is documented in the latest FWO report, to continue unchecked.
Last year Labor was able to amend the government’s Vulnerable Workers Bill to fix some of the deficiencies, but it is clear that more needs to be done.
The FWO report into Caltex provides clear support for Labor’s policy of reversing the onus of proof where franchisees have engaged in serious and systemic underpayment of workers.
Will the new junior Minister, Craig Laundy be prepared to even comment on this issue let alone take any action? We won’t hold our breath.
This Government isn’t interested in the wellbeing or safety of workers, they are interested in quick political wins.
Under the Turnbull Government, we are headed towards an easy to hire, easy to fire society – where vulnerable workers are too easily exploited - which is distorting job security and income distribution.
In the absence of leadership from this Government, Federal Labor will continue to lead the way to stamp out underpayment and exploitation.