MEDIA RELEASE: Monday 25 March, 2019
The Electrical Trades Union is calling on members and workers to join our fight to Stop the Casuals Rip-off and claim back wages owed to thousands of long-term casual employees who worked regular, systematic and predictable rosters.
Across Australia workers are having their basic rights and entitlements ripped off as they are shoved into precarious long-term employment and wrongly called “casuals”.
This improper determination was finally corrected in 2018 when the Federal Court found FIFO truckie Paul Skene was actually a permanent employee after working the same job for more than two years.
Mr Skene’s employer, Workpac, was ordered to pay him his full entitlements, including unpaid annual leave and sick leave.
The court found that under the Fair Work Act, Mr Skene could not be considered a casual worker because the nature of his work was continuous and regular, on a fixed roster, and that he was entitled to unpaid loading accrued throughout his two-and-a-half years on the job.
ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks said Mr Skene’s case laid bare how too many bosses have been taking advantage of a broken system to short-change workers in similar precarious circumstances.
“Paul Skene worked a roster that was regular, systematic and predictable for more than two years and no right and just-thinking person would disagree the nature of his work was permanent,” he said.
“Too many bosses have been taking advantage of this broken system, with labour-hire and FIFO workers treated like they are expendable and exploitable.
“But enough is enough. The ETU is standing up and taking up the fight for these workers in the courts and we are calling on anyone who has worked a regular, systematic and predictable roster but been wrongly called ‘casual’ to join our campaign.”
ETU Assistant National Secretary Michael Wright called on members and workers who have been employed in similar circumstances to join the fight.
“Our members and other workers have been ripped off because bosses exploited them through the broken rules of Australia’s industrial system,” Mr Wright said.
“Too many workers have wondered at the end of every week whether they will have a job come Monday.
“They have been denied job security and kept on sub-standard wages and lived in a cycle of insecurity.
“This has been the business model for unscrupulous bosses, but the ETU is taking a stand for our members and their families who have been ripped-off every week for years.”
The ETU urges all members and workers who believe they have worked a Regular, Systematic and Predictable roster despite being on the books as ‘casual’ to get in touch through the union’s campaign website stopcasualsripoff.org.au.
Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum
0419 499 886, [email protected]