Plan to reduce wage discrimination and ‘secret sweetheart pay deals’ will benefit all workers: ETU

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Sunday, 23 September 2018

The Electrical Trades Union of Australia welcomed today’s announcement that a future Labor Government would enact laws to spotlight pay discriminations and discrepancies.

The announcement that a Shorten Labor Government would create a legal framework for closing the gender pay gap and bring an end to “secret sweetheart pay deals” should be welcomed by all Australian workers.

ETU Assistant National Secretary David Mier said compelling companies to report on gender-pay discrepancies is the right thing to do and naming and shaming those that fail to show concrete action is being taken is the necessary mechanism to ensure equality for women who are far too often paid less than their male co-workers for the same job.

“Corporations have been getting away with keeping women’s wages down by failing to disclose remuneration packages and forcing workers to sign on to pay secrecy clauses,” the Assistant National Secretary said.

“These changes are not simple window dressing. They are positive steps to closing the gender pay gap.”

Mr Mier said the proposed reforms had great benefits for women workers but go a lot further because they will expose all forms of pay discrimination by banning pay secrecy clauses that divide workers and keep wages down.

“The ETU fully supports abolishing pay secrecy clauses that employers currently use to divide workers and drive wages and conditions down in the workplace,” he said.

“Secret sweetheart pay deals are a tactic employers use to divide their workers and pit them against each other under threats of punishment if they talk about their pay.”

Mr Mier said “by banning employers from punishing staff for talking about their wages, workers everywhere will benefit”.

“The ETU’s bargaining position is to always secure equal pay for equal work when negotiating with employers and these changes will help us to keep delivering on that objective.

“We commend Labor for taking the lead on these issues while the Morrison Government carries on with in-fighting as its few female MPs continue to quit because the Liberal Party is stuck in 1950s,” he said.

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, [email protected]

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