MEU lodges first Same Job Same Pay application at Queensland coal mine, more to follow ??

Mining and Energy Union

The Mining and Energy Union has today lodged the first Same Job Same Pay application at a Queensland coal mine, under new laws to prevent labour hire workers being paid less than permanents for performing the same work. 

The MEU’s application to the Fair Work Commission covers mineworkers employed by Workpac at Batchfire’s Callide mine at Biloela in Central Queensland. 

Callide is the first mine subject to a Same Job Same Pay application, but many more will follow, said MEU General President Tony Maher. 

“Callide has high union membership among Workpac labour hire mineworkers and the strong support of their permanent workmates for a fair go at the site.

“But labour hire exploitation is rife across the mining industry nationally; and we are already preparing our next applications. 

“We intend to have many applications made and approved by the FWC to deliver higher pay.” 

Under the Albanese Government’s Closing Loopholes legislation which passed through Federal Parliament in December 2023, applications for ‘Same Job Same Pay’ may be made at worksites where labour hire workers perform the same work as permanent employees covered by an Enterprise Agreement. 

Under the new laws, applications for Same job Same Pay are made to the Fair Work Commission. The Commission then determines whether to issue Same Job Same Pay orders, which triggers a requirement to pay a ‘protected rate of pay’ at a site, preventing employers from using labour hire workers to undercut pay rates agreed through enterprise bargaining. Consequent pay rises would come into effect on 1 November.

At Batchfire’s Callide mine, about 560 mineworkers are employed as production operators. About 40% are employed directly 60% are labour hire employed through Workpac. The pay differential varies depending on employees’ classifications, ranging from approximately $10,000 to $20,000 a year. If approved, the order would lift the pay of Workpac production employees to match Batchfire production employees. 

MEU Queensland District President Mitch Hughes said that labour hire and permanent workers at Callide were excited to be making history with the first application for Same Job Same Pay. 

“MEU members have campaigned for many years to change unfair laws that allow mining companies to drive down wages. 

“We are now doing everything possible to make sure the new laws deliver pay increases to labour hire workers as intended, starting at Callide Mine. 

“Our message to all labour hire and contractor mineworkers across the industry is to get on board, join the Union, help us make strong Same Job Same Pay applications and return fairness to the industry.” 

Key Facts:

First Same Job Same Pay application lodged at a Queensland coal mine covering worksite of 560 coal mineworkers.

/Public Release.